Accessibility links

Islamist Group Denies Role In Uzbek Attacks


http://gdb.rferl.org/671D19D9-3285-47CE-A1F0-D310DC428614_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/671D19D9-3285-47CE-A1F0-D310DC428614_mw800_mh600.jpg 2 August 2004 -- The Islamist movement Hizb ut-Tahrir today denied any responsibility for the 30 July suicide bomb attacks in the Uzbek capital Tashkent.

In a statement released from London, the group said it does not engage in "terrorism, violence, or armed struggle."

Uzbek President Islam Karimov has suggested that the group might be responsible for the attacks that appeared to target the U.S. and Israeli embassies, as well as the state prosecutor's office. Six people, including the suicide bombers, were killed in the blasts.

Hizb ut-Tahrir today accused Karimov of using the war on terror to demonize Muslims and insisted that it "seeks to change people's thoughts through intelligent discussion and debate."

The group wants to establish a caliphate in Central Asia's Ferghana Valley, which is shared by Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. It is not known to have been involved in any violent action in the region.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan announced today that it has decided to strengthen security along its border with Uzbekistan following the bombings. ITAR-TASS quoted a spokesman for Kazakhstan's National Security Committee as saying the measures include reinforcing both passport and customs controls.

(RFE/RL/AFP/ITAR-TASS)
XS
SM
MD
LG