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Soldiers were called into Andijon to contain the May uprising
3 October 2005 -- Uzbek soldiers today testified at the trial of 15 men accused of involvement in an antigovernment revolt in eastern Uzbekistan.
The soldiers were called into the city of Andijon in May to contain an uprising that authorities blame on Islamic militants intent on overthrowing the government.
The troops told the court that they had offered protesters safe passage out of the city, but that protesters killed their commander and fired on hostages.
The soldiers backed the state prosecutors' statements that many of the protesters were killed by other protesters in confused fighting.
Uzbek authorities say 187 people -- mostly Islamic militants -- were killed in the Andijon violence. Rights groups say many more, including civilians, were killed.
The 15 defendants have all admitted guilt to charges of membership in banned Islamic groups, terrorism, and murder. They all face possible execution.
(AP)For RFE/RL's full coverage of the Andijon trials, see "Aftermath Of Andijon"