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Afghanistan Denies Involvement In Uzbekistan Unrest

Kabul, 12 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan governement officials have rejected allegations reported in Russian media that Islamic militants based in Afghanistan were responsible for the recent unrest in Uzbekistan.

Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the Russian assertion is "baseless" and represents a conspiracy.

"The Defense Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan says this irresponsible statement, which also has been made in the past by India, marks the start of a Russian conspiracy involving adventuristic moves [by Moscow] in Central Asia and Southeastern Asia," he said.

On 9 June, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Russia had credible information that the recent disturbances in Uzbekistan were organized from Afghan territory.

(AFP, Radio Free Afghanistan)