"What kind of peaceful demonstration is it when they arm themselves first by receiving weapons from outside Uzbekistan, then attack a police station, then attack a regular military base, a brigade, taking up to 305 automatic rifles, as the prosecutor just said, hundreds of pistols and grenades, four machine guns, then attack a prison and set some 600 prisoners free, and only after that hold a peaceful demonstration?" Karimov said.
At the same press conference, Prosecutor-General Rashid Qodirov said that 169 people were killed in violence in eastern Uzbekistan over the weekend, including more than 50 foreign fighters. He added that "only terrorists were liquidated by government forces," including two Kyrgyz nationals.
Qodirov also said that rebels took more than 50 hostages during the violence, killing three women and two children, and that 32 government troops were killed.
Uzbek opposition members have said nearly 750 people were killed in the unrest. None of the figures could be independently confirmed.
Click here for a gallery of images from the violence in eastern Uzbekistan on 13-14 May.
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