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Situation Tense In Eastern Uzbekistan

Aftermath of riots in Andijon Ferghana, Uzbekistan; 16 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Tensions remained high today in eastern Uzbekistan following deadly clashes between government troops and protesters over the past three days.

[For more on this event, see RFE/RL's dedicated webpage: Unrest in Uzbekistan]

It remains unclear how many died when Uzbek troops fired on protesters in the eastern city of Andijon on 13 May. Estimates range from 30 to 500.

Reports said Uzbek troops were patrolling the streets of Andijon today.

RFE/RL's Uzbek Service correspondent in Andijon, Gafur Yuldoshev, said two people were killed in Andijon yesterday, including a 15-year-old girl.

"On 15 May in Andijon, soldiers shot dead at least two people. One of them is a 30-year-old man, who was shot dead near the regional medical emergency center when he tried to cross the street. Soldiers warned him first and then opened fire. The other one is a 15-year-old girl, she was shot dead near the regional Interior ministry department building. She was also warned first and then shot dead," Yuldoshev reported.

The government of President Islam Karimov has denied opening fire on demonstrators, but the authorities have sought to restrict access of reporters in the affected areas.

A UN refugee agency team yesterday traveled to Suzak, Kyrgyzstan, 80 kilometers northeast of Andijon. The agency said most of the 560 Uzbek refugees who arrived there were men, and 18 were wounded (click here for a map of the Ferghana Valley region)

RFE/RL's correspondent says the Kyrgyz government has set up another refugee camp in the Bazarkorgan district, some 70 kilometers east of Andijon. He said there are some 600 refugees there, including women and children, some of whom were wounded.

See also:

Bloody Friday In The Ferghana Valley

Uzbek President Blames Islamist Group For Unrest

Protesters Charge Officials With Using Extremism Charges To Target Entrepreneurs

Analysis: Economic Concerns Primary In Andijon

Background: Banned Hizb ut-Tahrir Faces Dwindling Appeal, Internal Divisions

Interview: Opposition Leader Tells RFE/RL About 'Farmers' Revolution'

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