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Uneasy Calm in Uzbekistan After Hundreds Killed in Clashes

  • VOA News

The eastern Uzbek city Andijon was mostly quiet on Sunday after two days of violence between soldiers and anti-government demonstrators. But there are now reports of new clashes between armed men and government troops in an area close to the border with Kyrgyzstan. Several soldiers were reported killed in the skirmishes. Uzbek military forces sealed off part of Andijon, prompting many people to stay home. But others ventured out to search for bodies of their loved ones or to bury the dead. Estimates of the victims vary widely. According to many witnesses, hundreds of people died when Uzbek army troops fired indiscriminately on unarmed protesters Friday. But President Islam Karimov said only a small number of people died, stressing soldiers had orders not to shoot women and children. He blamed the unrest on Islamic radicals seeking to overthrow the government.
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