Another domino teeters
The week's news at a glance.
Armed with sticks and Molotov cocktails, pro-democracy demonstrators took over half of Kyrgyzstan this week, demanding that the government step down. Opposition leaders said the recent parliamentary elections, in which relatives and friends of President Askar Akayev easily won seats, were fraudulent. Demonstrators in Osh, Jalal-abat, and other cities stormed police stations and city councils. Many police officers shed their uniforms and joined the protesters, who proclaimed that Kyrgyzstan was following in the democratic footsteps of Georgia and Ukraine. A beleaguered Akayev, who has ruled Kyrgyzstan since the former Soviet republic won independence in 1991, called the demonstrations a coup attempt by criminals.