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Kyrgyz President Blames Islamists For Uzbek Riots

Kurmanbek Bakiev (file photo) Cholponata, Kyrgyzstan; 14 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz interim President Kurmanbek Bakiev, speaking to local residents of the resort town of Cholponata, near Lake Issyk-kul, said that Islamic extremism is to blame for the recent violence in neighboring Uzbekistan.

"This [the 12-13 May vilonce in Andijon] happened because of those [known as] the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and [members of the Islamist movement] Hizb ut-Tahrir.... In any case, this [violence] does not lead to a good life. I think, there should be peace. I don't support the views of those who want to establish a state under the rule of a religious body," RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service quoted Bakiev as saying.

Meanwhile, dozens of students and other young human rights activists demonstrated in front of the Uzbek Embassy in Bishkek, demanding that the Uzbek government provide democratic rights to the citizens.

One young activist said that the main thing is to democratize Uzbek society.

Also, an Uzbek eyewitness told an RFE/RL correspondent that a Uzbek military helicopter today crossed the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border at the Dostuk crossing for a short time.

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