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UN To Investigate Uzbek Violence

14 June 2005 -- A UN human rights mission arrived in Kyrgyzstan to travel south and speak with survivors of last month's violence in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon.

The team of officials from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will stay for some 10 days interviewing Uzbek refugees and eyewitnesses who crossed the border into neighboring Kyrgyzstan after the 13 May violence in Andijon.

The team is led by Louise Arbour who requested permission to visit Uzbekistan also. The Uzbek government rejected her request.

A statement from the UN office said the team would gain an overview of the circumstances that led to the death of 173 people, according to the Uzbek authorities. Other sources claim up to 800 people died in the violence.

There are more than 400 refugees from Uzbekistan at camps in Kyrgyzstan.