Kyrgyz interim head speaks with Putin

Kyrgyz opposition supporters attack a riot policemen's vehicle during an anti government protest in Bishkek. AFP photo

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Thursday with the new interim leader in Kyrgyzstan and offered aid to the Central Asian state, a spokesman said Thursday.

"Putin noted that... Russia has always provided and remains ready to provide necessary humanitarian aid to the people of Kyrgyzstan," Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the powerful Russian prime minister, told AFP.

Moments earlier in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, an opposition leader announced to a throng of supporters that the country's newly-designated leader, Roza Otunbayeva, had spoken by phone with Putin.

Putin told Otunbayeva that "he supports the policies of Kyrgyzstan's provisional government," opposition leader Omurbek Tekebayev told the crowd.

Otunbayeva claimed authority in Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday following a day of ferocious clashes between her supporters and security forces under President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was later reported to have fled the capital.

Kyrgyz opposition supporters attack a riot policemen's vehicle during an anti government protest in Bishkek. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has spoken by phone with the new interim leader in Kyrgyzstan and offered aid to the Central Asian state, a spokesman has said.

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