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Tashkent, 29 March 2004 (RFE/RL) -- At least one explosion tore through a bazaar in the Uzbek capital Tashkent today, killing at least two people and wounding many others, while another explosion in Bukhara left a reported eight people dead.
There are conflicting stories about what happened in the incidents. Some reports say that at least two people were killed and around 20 others injured in the Tashkent blast, while the BBC quotes local police as saying four people were killed and around 70 were injured. Interfax news agency said that three police officiers were killed.
First reports from Uzbek authorities said the blast was conducted by a suicide bomber. Those reports could not be independently confirmed. Interfax reported that there were also at least two explosions in the central city of Bukhara.
Uzbek Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilkhom Zakirov said there were "several attempted terrorist acts" in the country. He said several people had been arrested but did not give details.
A spokesman for the National Security Service, Alimzhon Turdakulov, said at least one of the blasts occurred at a market in the old city. It was believed to have struck near the entrance to "Children's World." The website www.ferghana.ru reported that two further explosions took place in Tashkent.
A television address by President Islam Karimov scheduled for 1 p.m. local time was cancelled; as of 1 p.m. CEST, the website of the official Uzbek news agency (www.uza.uz) had not reported the bombings.