Kyrgyzstan's government has declared a state of emergency after clashes between riot police and anti-government protesters killed several people in the capital.
Witnesses and police reports from Bishkek say that as many as 12 people may have been killed Tuesday, although the figure could not be confirmed.
Witnesses say police first used tear gas and stun grenades Wednesday before opening fire to disperse thousands of demonstrators in Bishkek. Protesters demanding the resignation of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev tried to ram the gates of government headquarters with an armored vehicle.
The unrest spread to the town of Naryn, where at least 1,000 protesters took over the local government building.
Tensions have been growing in the Central Asian country over what activists say are repressive policies of President Bakiyev.
In Talas, witnesses say demonstrators tried to storm the local police headquarters Wednesday, a day after hundreds of protesters clashed with police. Protesters briefly held the regional governor hostage.
Kyrgyz officials say at least 85 police officers were injured in Tuesday's clashes in Talas. Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov called the opposition "bandits" Wednesday.
Authorities responded by detaining several opposition leaders.
Those detained include Almazbek Atambayev and former parliamentary speaker Omurbek Tekebayev. Another opposition leader, Temir Sariyev, was arrested early Wednesday as he arrived on a flight from Moscow.
Internet access was also reportedly blocked in many areas.
The U.S. embassy in Kyrgyzstan said it was deeply concerned by the unrest and urged all parties to engage in talks to resolve the dispute peacefully.
Anti-government discontent has been rising in Kyrgyzstan, a mountainous impoverished country of 5 million people. The nation hosts a U.S. air base that supports military operations in Afghanistan.