Kyrgyzstan reports violence on Uzbek border, shuts checkpoints (old)Rédigé par admin - -
A spokesman for Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry said a shootout was reported on Tuesday in the border town of Khanabad, and that several people were believed to have been injured.
"From the Kyrgyz side near the border crossing, traces of blood can be seen on the territory of the neighboring state," a ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti.
An eyewitness in the Kyrgyz city of Osh, near the Uzbek border, told RIA Novosti by phone that he heard an explosion coming from Khanabad early on Tuesday morning. He said that from the Kyrgyz border fence, Uzbek tanks and troops could be seen, as well as a large number of police.
The Russian-language Fergana.ru agency, covering Central Asia, said a blast was heard on Monday night coming from the Khanabad police department. The agency said all cafes, restaurants and public places had been closed in the town.
The agency cited local sources as saying state security forces had been carrying out "an operation to neutralize unidentified extremists and terrorists."
Uzbek media outlets contacted by RIA Novosti said that the situation remains calm in the city of Andijan, the site of a notorious army crackdown on protests in 2005. The incident, in which several hundred people were shot dead by troops, sparked international criticism of the Uzbek government, and severely damaged relations with several former allies.
Uzbek government officials have not responded to requests for comments on the issue.
However, a presidential administration source told RIA Novosti that Uzbek President Islam Karimov was not expected to cancel his planned trip to Brazil for a meeting with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
"The flight is going ahead as planned. There will not be any delays," he said. The president will stop off in Spain to meet with King Juan Carlos I.
Since the Andijan unrest, in which hundreds of civilians died, international rights groups have repeatedly accused Uzbek authorities of stamping down on dissent in the country, jailing thousands of people on charges of extremism and attempts to overthrow the government.
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