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Last updated: 7 april, 2010 - 16:26 GMT

Kyrgyzstan declares state of emergency as violent protests spread

Kyrgyz opposition supporters clash with police during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on 7 April 2010

The protesters, angered by rising fuel prices, accuse President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of failing to tackle corruption

Government officials in Kyrgyzstan say that 17 people have been killed and at least 140 injured in continuing clashes between police and anti-government protesters.

Witnesses said security forces in the capital, Bishkek, opened fire on demonstrators.

The opposition say that the number of dead is substantially higher.

A Kyrgyz opposition supporter throws a projectile at riot police during an anti-government protest in Bishkek on 7 April 2010

The government says it does not have sufficient forces to restore order

The government has declared a state of emergency, imposing curfews in Bishkek and the towns of Talas and Naryn.

In Talas, two government ministers were taken hostage, including the interior minister who was badly beaten.

The protesters, angered by rising energy prices, accuse President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of failing to tackle corruption.

Rayhan Demytrie is the BBC's correspondent in Bishkek.

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Iliyas Mamadiyarov, a former student in Talas, gives his account of what he saw on the streets of the town.

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Firdevs Robinson is the editor of the BBC's Central Asian service.

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First broadcast 7 April 2010

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