Deposed Kyrgyz president faxes his resignation

The deposed president of Kyrgyzstan has formally resigned in the wake of last week's bloody protests and riots that left more than 70 people dead.

MOSCOW // The deposed president of Kyrgyzstan has formally resigned in the wake of last week's bloody protests and riots that left more than 70 people dead, the interim government of the Central Asian republic said yesterday, assuaging fears of a possible civil war. Kurmanbek Bakiyev faxed his handwritten resignation to the former Soviet republic's interim government, and the original was received yesterday, said Edil Baisalov, the chief of staff for Roza Otunbayeva, Kyrgyzstan's acting head of state.

Mr Bakiyev on Thursday was flown to the city of Taraz, in the south of neighbouring Kazakhstan, as part of a plan arranged by Russia, the United States and Kazakhstan to prevent possible escalation in Kyrgyzstan. Before fleeing the country, Mr Bakiyev had been holed up in his native region in southern Kyrgyzstan after being driven from the capital, Bishkek, amid last week's turmoil, in which at least 70 people died and more than 1,000 were injured.

The new government led by Ms Otunbayeva has vowed to prosecute Mr Bakiyev and his senior allies for their alleged role the bloodshed that followed after security forces fired on crowds of protesters. Mr Baisalov said in a Skype interview from Bishkek yesterday that authorities had arrested Mr Bakiyev's former defence minster, Baktybek Kaliyev, and were conducting operations to apprehend several other allied of the deposed president, including his brother.

Kyrgyz authorities will also seek to extradite from Kazakhstan Mr Bakiyev's son, Murat Bakiyev, the country's former prime minister, Daniyar Usenov, and the former chief of the country's security services, Murat Sutalinov, Mr Baisalov said. Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, told reporters during a visit to Brazil that he held joint consultations this week in Washington with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Kazakh president, and Barack Obama, the US president, about the unrest in Kyrgyzstan.

Mr Medvedev, who earlier in the week had applied huge pressure on Mr Bakiyev by warning that Kyrgyzstan was on the brink of civil war, indicated that the new rulers still had some way to go to win Moscow's full backing. "We will see, the current leaders have yet to agree among themselves, sometimes that is not easy," he said. On Thursday, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe issued a statement saying that as a result of the trilateral meeting, with the mediation by the OSCE, the UN and the EU, an agreement was reached to have Mr Bakiyev leave the country.

"This development is an important step towards the stabilisation of the situation, a return to a framework providing for the rule of law, and the prevention of a civil war in Kyrgyzstan," Kanat Saudabayev, the Kazakh foreign minister and chairman of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said in a statement. Ms Otunbayeva said yesterday that the mediation efforts prompted her decision to allow Mr Bakiyev to leave but that the interim government would seek to have the former president prosecuted abroad.

"He cannot hide in a single country in the world," Ms Otunbayeva said in a statement. Mr Bakiyev's final destination remained unclear yesterday.