Monday, May 16, 2005

More News from the Uz

Violence and bloodshed continue in Uzbekistan. There is nobody to cheer for here, a repressive dictatorship on one side and terrorist affiliated fundamentalists on the other side. The US needs to push the country towards a more peaceful revolution. Hopefully Karimov is smart enough to realize, after Georgia, the Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, that his days are numbered otherwise.

ANDIJAN, Uzbekistan (AP) — Gunfire rang out Monday in the eastern city where Uzbek security forces fired on protesters last week — a clash that reportedly left as many as 500 people dead — and reports emerged that violence in nearby towns killed hundreds more, further threatening the stability of the government in this key U.S. ally in Central Asia.

The clashes in the region bordering Kyrgyzstan were the worst since Uzbekistan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. If the reports of more than 700 deaths since Friday hold true and if Uzbek forces were behind the killing — as most reports indicate, it would be some of the worst state-inspired bloodshed since the massacre of protesters in China's Tiananmen Square in 1989. (Video:
Death toll rises in Uzbekistan)

President Islam Karimov's government has denied opening fire on demonstrators as witnesses have claimed, instead blaming Islamic extremists for the violence. The authoritarian government has restricted access for reporters in the affected areas.

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