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"We are being provoked by the Bakiyevs but we must not let a civil war begin," exclaims the Uzbek leader of Jalal-Abad. Applause, then hoots of support. You cannot drive on the main roads today. Jalal-Abad is marching. Encircled by their supporters, opposition activists boom through loudspeakers, "Go home, think of tomorrow, think of your children, think of the future, the meeting is cancelled." 

Bakiyev is coming to town. Thugs with AK-47s guard the compound doors. My driver follows his high-speed cortege. The police salute. 

"Bakiyev, Bakiyev!"

But the gathering is in the hundreds. They are mostly old. The women are said to have been paid to scream accusations against his opponents. The clan has reinforced its roadblocks. Thick slabs block the tracks into Teyyit. 

Posing as a Russian and doling out cigarettes, I slip into the compound and run into Bakiyev's brother Kanabek. Misty-eyed and confused, he contradicts himself as we speak. His voice is tinged with fear. He is wearing the same clothes as when I spotted him walking alongside the fugitive president the previous day. 

"My brother will resign."  

"My brother will not resign." 

There is a sombre mood in the courtyard, as though the Bakiyevs have only just realised what has happened. Kanabek continues. "We are driving to Osh tomorrow to hold a rally." 

 The following day I drive to Osh. A call comes in. "There is shooting in Osh." Fifteen minutes later we see the fugitive president's cortege of shiny blacked-out SUVs hurtling in the other direction, towards Jalal-Abad. 

Witnesses say that Bakiyev's supporters gathered in front of the theatre. Placards were raised announcing "HANDS OFF THE LEGITIMATE PRESIDENT." The gathering was in the hundreds but thousands of angry opposition marchers began to surround them. 

"Do not run away, do not run away," Bakiyev shouted. Then his guards fired into the air. People screamed and ran away. Bakiyev was thrown into his SUV and whisked away.

It is raining. I am shouting at the driver to go faster, back after Bakiyev to Jalal-Abad. As we race into town we see a grey unmarked military plane soaring overhead. 

"That's him, he's fled," I shout. 

The compound is in disarray. The guards mutter: "Yes, he's gone. He's left for Kazakhstan."

I walk into the summer house where Bakiyev received me earlier in the week. The dictator has run away without even switching off the lights.

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