This could prove interesting for the U.S.:
Large-scale protests appear to have overthrown the government of Kyrgyzstan, an important American ally in Central Asia, after violence between riot police officers and opposition demonstrators on Thursday killed at least 17 people.
The country’s president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, fled the capital, Bishkek, on his plane, and the opposition declared that it was forming its own government.
Earlier in the day, the police used bullets, tear gas and stun grenades against a crowd of thousands massing in front of the presidential office in Bishkek, according to witness accounts. At least 17 people were killed and others were wounded, officials said.
Opposition leaders said the toll was as high as 100 people, but that figure could not be confirmed.
The upheaval raised questions about the future of an important American air base that operates in Kyrgyzstan in support of the NATO mission in nearby Afghanistan. American officials said that as of Wednesday evening the base was functioning normally.
The Obama administration has sought to cultivate ties with Mr. Bakiyev, angering the opposition, after he vowed to close the American base on the outskirts of Bishkek last year. He reversed his decision after the American side agreed to concessions, including higher rent.