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Uzbek Authorities Widen Arrests


2 April 2004 -- Uzbek authorities say they have arrested 19 people so far and were searching today for at least eight more suspected of involvement in a series of attacks and explosions this week.

The country's top prosecutor, Rashid Kadyrov, says that at least 47 people have died, 33 of them suspects in the attacks.

Kadyrov said today that the authorities were trying to determine which extremist group the attackers belong to. He said evidence from the investigation indicates that the attacks involved a single criminal group under unified control.

Prosecutors displayed materials collected in their investigations, including Kalashnikov assault rifles, Uzbek passports, packs of wrapped explosives, and wiring and detonators.

Tashkent's chief imam, Anvar Haji Tursunov, told a congregation of several thousand today that what he called "kamikazes" are against Allah. He said Uzbek Muslims "must punish them together."
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