BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Security forces in Bishkek fired warning shots as supporters of an opposition leader gathered to demonstrate against the government, authorities said Thursday.
Security in Kyrgyzstan has been shaky since supporters of Roza Otunbayeva rallied to remove former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in an April coup. Fallout from the coup resulted in violence between ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyzs in early June, killing hundreds and displacing thousands more.
Around 1,000 supporters of former presidential contender Urmat Baryktabasov protested in front of the parliament building in Bishkek to rally against the Otunbayeva government, the BBC reports.
Baryktabasov attempted to oust Bakiyev in 2005 in demonstrations that turned violent. He fled the country but returned following the April coup. His supporters, the BBC said, were calling on the Otunbayeva government to install Baryktabasov in a position of power.
Police fired warning shots as a bus load of Baryktabasov supporters approached the capital.
Kubatbek Baibolov, the Kyrgyz interior minister, said the situation was "under control."
The violence comes as he Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe dispatches a police advisory group to southern Kyrgyzstan to calm ethnic tensions.
The aid group Doctors Without Border said it treated patients from the southern Uzbek community who showed signs of torture.