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Uzbek Subway Stations Get Metal Detectors In Wake Of Minsk Blast


Security has been tightened on public transport in Tashkent following last week's deadly bombing of a subway station in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Some subway stations have already been equipped with metal detectors while others are guarded by security officers with bomb-sniffing dogs.

A recorded announcement on the subway urges people to report any unattended bags. A bus driver in Tashkent told RFE/RL on April 18 that security officials ordered transport drivers to report any suspicious behavior and gave them a special number to call.

Larisa Yuryeva of the Tashkent subway's press office declined on April 18 to comment on the security precautions, saying she is not allowed to disclose such information.

Uzbek authorities tightened the already stringent security measures at Tashkent's international airport following the blast at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport in January.

Prior to that attack, nonpassengers were not allowed to enter the Tashkent airport terminal. Now they are not allowed even to approach the parking area.

There were a few alleged terrorist attacks in Tashkent between 1999-2004, mainly targeting law enforcement agencies and, in one case, the U.S. and Israeli embassies.

Tashkent-based analyst Suhrob Ismailov says it is difficult to assess how great a threat terrorism poses in Uzbekistan due to the one-sided information provided by state security services.

Commercials broadcast recently on state television depict the Uzbek police as guardians of national security and whom nobody should deny the right to search their bags.
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