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Thousands of protesters demanding the resignation of Kyrgyzstan's president over a flawed election rampaged through a southern city on Sunday, burning down a police station and occupying government buildings.
The government of the former Soviet republic said it was ready to negotiate, but opposition leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev said talks would only be possible if President Askar Akayev himself is involved.
"All other lower level negotiations will be just a waste of time," said Bakiyev, the 55-year-old leader of the opposition People's Movement of Kyrgyzstan.
Some analysts have suggested Kyrgyzstan is ripe for an outburst of the mass protests experienced by other post-Soviet countries, such as those that recently brought pro-Western leaders to power in Ukraine and Georgia.
As protests have grown, the opposition has made three made demands - Akayev's resignation, a new presidential vote and a new parliamentary ballot.