11 Apr 2010

Thousands mourn Kyrgystan's dead

9:36 am on 11 April 2010

Thousands of mourners in Kyrgysztan have been taking part in a funeral ceremony for some of the 78 people killed in the uprising against President Kurmanbek Bakiyev this week.

Fifteen coffins draped in the national flag were carried through the burial ground outside the capital, Bishkek. Other victims were being buried at private family funerals.

Addressing the mourners, the leader of the self-proclaimed new government, Roza Otun-bayeva, said those who died were true heroes of Kyrgysztan.

The memorial site was the scene of a massacre of Kyrgyz noblemen by Soviet forces in the 1930s.

The funerals marked the second day of mourning in the country, where calm appears to have largely returned.

Meanwhile, the US has suspended all troop flights to Afghanistan from Kyrgyzstan.

On Saturday, the US State Department said the interim leader of Kyrgyzstan agreed to abide by previous agreements on Manas Airport, the key supply base for US war efforts in Afghanistan.

A senior State Department official is to visit Krygyzstan.