BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, April 10 (UPI) -- Thousands of mourners turned out Saturday for funerals for 15 of the people killed during the violent uprising in Kyrgyzstan.
Meantime, the provisional Health Ministry said the death toll from the Kyrgyzstan unrest had reached 79, while 45 others remained hospitalized, seven in critical condition, RIA Novosti reported.
The country's flag draped the 15 coffins as they were carried through the burial ground outside the capital, Bishkek, the Russian news agency said.
The victims died in clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in Bishkek and other towns. The security forces fired on crowds as they overtook the headquarters of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who has fled south.
Roza Otunbayeva, the opposition leader, called the victims heroes.
As the Central Asian country began its second day of mourning, the BBC reported tensions remained high.
The United States has suspended troop flights to Afghanistan from its airbase in Kyrgyzstan indefinitely. U.S. forces will be transported to Afghanistan via Kuwait, U.S. Central Command spokesman Maj. John Redfield said.
Some 50,000 coalition troops passed through the U.S. base in March, the BBC said. Russia also has an airbase in Kyrgyzstan.
The violence erupted after mounting unrest over rising prices and allegations of corruption in Kyrgyzstan.
Bakiyev, speaking from a secret location, told the BBC he still viewed himself as president but feared he'd be killed if he returned to Bishkek.