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KYRGYZSTAN HOLDS DAY OF MOURNING FOR UPRISING VICTIMS

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The first funerals are being held for those who died in the unrest which forced President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee the capital.

Mr Bakiyev has refused to resign but has offered to talk to the opposition, which has set up an interim government.

But interim leader Roza Otunbayeva has said she has no plans to negotiate with Mr Bakiyev and demanded he stand down.

Both the US and Russia have key military bases in Kyrgyzstan, and are watching the situation there closely.

The US says it has now resumed normal operations at its Manas base after military flights were suspended on Wednesday.

The deputy head of the interim government, Almazbek Atambayev, has gone to Moscow “for talks on economic aid”, the government said in a statement.

'Never forgive'
Thousands of mourners gathered in the main square of the capital, Bishkek, on Friday to remember those killed in Wednesday's violence. AT THE SCENE

Rayhan Demytrie
BBC News, Bishkek
Hundreds of people gathered in Bishkek at the scene of Wednesday's mass protests. A little shrine was set up by the main gates to the presidential office, known as the White House. Blood still stains the ground where the flowers were laid. People sat down for mass prayers. One mourner said that lots of young men had sacrificed their lives for the country and today they were being mourned.

Two days on, the situation in Kyrgyzstan is slowly getting back to normal. Many are referring to Wednesday's events as their own people's revolution. What they're hoping for most is that the new government will make better decisions, create more jobs and prioritise the nation's prosperity more than their own.

Chaos and uncertainty reign
Many of them blamed the deaths on Mr Bakiyev, who has fled to the south of the Central Asian country.

“Bakiyev must be tried and executed for all these crimes,” said Fatima Imanaliyeva, whose two friends were killed when security forces opened fire on protesters.

“We will never forgive him. This is our revolution,” she told Reuters news agency.

Another woman, Khatima Immamaliyeva, said she was grieving over the “real heroes who have sacrificed their lives for the future of Kyrgyzstan”.

“Bakiyev must bear responsibility for the deaths,” she said.

The interior ministry said the city was quiet overnight, “thanks to operations carried out by the police, soldiers and volunteer organisations”.

It said “special means and gunfire” had been used to deter looters and rioters.

Base query
The BBC's Rayhan Demytrie in Bishkek says there is now a more visible police presence on the streets of the capital.

But there is much cleaning up to be done in the city, after government buildings, shops and offices were ransacked and vehicles set on fire during the unrest, says our correspondent.