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Russia Says Islamic Extremists Involved In Uzbek Unrest

22 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russia today corroborated findings in an Uzbek parliamentary commission investigation the causes of the unrest in eastern Uzbekistan last month, saying Islamic extremists were involved.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made his remarks today after a session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Council of Foreign Ministers in Moscow on 22 June.

Lavrov said that all CSTO member nations have been sharing information about the 13 May unrest in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon. He also said that the information is being shared with Western countries.

The CSTO is composed of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Armenia.

On 21 June, Uzbek parliamentary commission head Mukhammadilkhon Yuldashev said the violence in Andijon was planned outside the country in advance by Islamic militants intent on overthrowing the government.

Uzbek authorities say more than 170 people were killed in the Andijon violence. Rights advocates dispute the figure, claiming the figure is more than 500.