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Heavy shooting breaks out again in Kyrgyz capital

Flight status unknown at U.S. air base where Fairchild crews rotate through

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan — Associated Press reporters in Kyrgyzstan are hearing sustained automatic weapons fire breaking out as night falls in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, home to a U.S. air base key to the Afghan war.

A bloody uprising in the impoverished Central Asian nation Wednesday was followed Thursday by the opposition announcing an interim government and the president fleeing the capital for his stronghold in the south. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev then declared he was not admitting defeat.

Resistance from Bakiyev raised the prospect of continued instability in Kyrgyzstan, also home to a Russian military facility.

U.S. military officials said Kyrgyzstan halted flights for 12 hours Wednesday at the Manas air base, and did not say if flights had resumed.

Some personnel from Fairchild Air Force Base were in Kyrgyzstan when the hostilities occurred, said Lt. Casey Osborne, the Fairchild deputy chief of public affairs.

“We can confirm that a number of them are at the transit center at Manas,” he said.

However, Osborne could offer no information about their situation.

Fairchild crews routinely rotate through Manas.

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