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Uzbeks Say Trials To Start For Terror Attacks

24 July 2004 -- Uzbekistan's Prosecutor-General's Office announced yesterday it has finished investigating a series of militant attacks that killed 47 people in March and April, and will start trying the first group of 15 suspects next week.

Prosecutors have sent the case to the Supreme Court. A spokeswoman of the Prosecutor-General's Office said yesterday that the first in a series of trials of what she called "Islamic extremists" will start next on 26 July.

But opponents of authoritarian President Islam Karimov, a close ally of the United State government in its war in neighboring Afghanistan, have expressed concern over a new wave of repression of free expression.