Chinese President Hu Jintao (L), Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev leave after a meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Shanghai on June 15, 2006. After the session, Putin said that Iran is ready to enter negotiations on an offer by the U.N. powers to encourage Tehran to relinquish its nuclear fuel enrichment program. (UPI Photo/Anatoli Zhdanov) | License Photo
LONDON, May 21 (UPI) -- London issued a travel warning for parts of Kyrgyzstan in the wake of a state of emergency declared by the interim government in Bishkek.
The provisional government in Bishkek said several people were injured or dead in ethnic clashes in the restive south. Thousands of backers of ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiyev have protested in the south in recent days, calling for justice against leaders of the Uzbek community.
Bakiyev supporters blame ethnic Uzbeks for inciting unrest.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a travel advisory Friday, warning of "an ongoing risk of instability in parts of Kyrgyzstan, especially in some areas of southern Kyrgyzstan."
The FCO said interim leaders in Bishkek declared a state of emergency in parts of the south lasting until June 1.
"There are still occasional sporadic incidents of violence across the country," the FCO stated. "We advise all British nationals to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings while in Kyrgyzstan."
Meanwhile, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports Friday that the provisional government unveiled a new constitution characterizing Kyrgyzstan as a secular state. A referendum on the office of the president removes full immunity and limits the presidential term to a single six-year term.
Much of the power of the state would be transferred to a prime minister,RFE/RL said. A separate decree issued Thursday says the president cannot be a member of any political party.
Interim Prime Minister Roza Otunbaeva resigned Friday from the Social Democratic Party, RFE/RL adds.