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Uzbekistan Tightens Security In Andijon

Authorities in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijon are imposing stringent security measures on residents in the aftermath of last week's uprising that ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.

Security officers have been visiting Andijon citizens who have relatives in Kyrgyzstan's Osh and Jalal-Abad regions and asking them about their most recent visit to Kyrgyzstan.

Andijon is about 20 kilometers from the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border and 40 kilometers from the Kyrgyz city of Osh. Both lie in the Fergana Valley, which is regarded as a hotbed of social and ethnic tension by the region's governments.

Andijon-based human rights activist Saidjahon Zainabiddinov told RFE/RL on April 16 that the city's streets were full of police officers wearing bulletproof vests. He said he was summoned by police and questioned about where he was and what he did in the last several days.

Shortly after the 2005 Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan that toppled President Askar Akaev, thousands of people in Andijon held a mass protest that was brutally suppressed by Uzbek security forces. Witnesses said hundreds of peaceful demonstrators were killed, while Uzbek officials say less than 200 were killed, many of them security officers.

Hundreds of Uzbeks fled and trials were held to convict alleged agitators whom the government in Tashkent accused of helping foreign elements foment insurrection.