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Two More Uzbeks Reported Missing In Kyrgyzstan

(RFE/RL) OSH, Kyrgyzstan; August 24, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Two more Uzbek asylum seekers have gone missing in Kyrgyzstan's main southern city of Osh.

The head of the Osh branch of Kyrgyzstan's Migration Department, Nurila Yoldasheva, told RFE/RL's Uzbek Service she was informed of the new disappearences on Wednesday (August 23).

"Yesterday (August 23), we, too, were informed that two people had disappeared," she said. "They are Bakhtiyor Ahmedov and Ilhom Abdunabiev."

Two other Uzbek asylum seekers in Osh were reportedly taken from their homes last week (August 16 and 17) and whisked into neighboring Uzbekistan.

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports that the United States today expressed its concern about the fate of Valijon Bobojonov and Saidullo Shokirov.

The U.S. Embassy in Bishkek says Washington is urging Kyrgyz authorities to investigate those two disappearances.

It is also calling on Kyrgyzstan to ensure the safety of all refugees and asylum seekers who have sought shelter on its territory after the bloody military crackdown that took place in May 2005 in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon.

Kyrgyzstan on August 9 extradited four Andijon refugees and one asylum seeker to Uzbekistan, where they were charged for their alleged participation in last year's antigovernment protests that led to the bloodshed.

International organizations condemned Kyrgyzstan's deportation order.

(RFE/RL's Uzbek and Kyrgyz services)

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