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Uzbek Police Warn Of Armed Women In Ferghana Region


The Uzbek authorities have released these sketches of the two women they are looking for.

Thousands of members of Uzbekistan's security forces have been mobilized in the country's Ferghana region to search for two women they allege are potential suicide bombers.

Sources at the Rishton district police department told RFE/RL that the district had been blocked off by police and security had been beefed up after two women armed with a pistol and a grenade robbed a family in one house and attempted to rob another house in Rishton on August 16.

The police warned locals about the attacks and issued police sketches of the suspects taken from video cameras.

According to police, the suspects were wearing belts in the video that looked similar to the ones used by suicide bombers.

Both women were described as missing their left thumbs and right little fingers.

A public announcement about possible suicide bombers on the loose is rare in Uzbekistan -- a post-Soviet Central Asian country of almost 30 million that has been strictly controlled by authoritarian leader Islam Karimov for 26 years.

Additional police and security forces have been sent to the district from Tashkent, the Uzbek capital, to assist in finding the suspects.