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NUKUS (RFE/RL) -- Twenty-seven Kazakh citizens accused of illegally crossing into Uzbekistan in February will be allowed to return home, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov announced on June 25 that a court in the Uzbek city of Nukus has ordered the Kazakhs released and deported from Uzbekistan.

The Kazakhs have insisted that the driver of the bus they were traveling in got lost in a heavy blizzard and accidentally crossed the border into Uzbekistan.

They have been held in custody since February.