Author`s name Ольга Савка

Thousands flee Uzbekistan as the uprising reaches other towns

The people, who lost their loved ones in the Andijan uprising, will continue taking revenge for their killed relatives even when the conflict ends

The situation in Uzbekistan remains rather complicated. Governmental troops control the regional center of Andijan, in which the uprising started on May 12th overnight. The mutiny in Andijan gave rise to massive disorders in another Uzbek town of Karasu, which is situated on the border with the republic of Kyrgyzstan.

Karasu residents seized governmental buildings in the town and set them on fire. The furious crowd attacked local officials and beat up the town's mayor.

When the news about the events in Andijan reached Karasu, local residents demanded the mayor should open the check point on the border with Kyrgyzstan. When the official refused to fulfill the requirement, the people attacked him and brutally beat the mayor. After that, the crowds ambushed the police headquarters, the road police department and the tax inspection and set those buildings on fire.

A chaotic rally started in the town of Karasu. The people demanded the retrieval of the visa-free regime to cross the border with Kyrgyzstan. Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan use visas on the border, which prevent residents of Uzbek border areas to access a large market in Kyrgyzstan, the Vedomosti newspaper wrote.

The riot in Karasu subsided by Sunday night. According to Fergana.Ru news agency, the town looks deserted.

Meanwhile, a group of armed gunmen attacked Uzbek servicemen on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Local residents say that eight military men and three terrorists were killed in the shootout. When the battle ended, the insurgents escaped on the territory of Kyrgyzstan. However, spokespeople for law-enforcement agencies of the two republics rejected the information about the skirmish, RIA Novosti reports.

The revolt in Uzbekistan - Photo gallery

Thousands of refugees have crossed the border on Kyrgyzstan. Experts say that those people, who lost their loved ones in the Andijan uprising, will continue taking revenge for their killed relatives even when the conflict ends. The riot in Andijan is gradually taking a national scale in Uzbekistan, although the republic's government has taken much effort to suppress such progression.

The national riot continues in Uzbekistan. Another Uzbek town, Pakhtaabad, rebelled against the regime of the incumbent President Islam Karimov. The town is situated only 30 kilometers far from Andijan. About 200 people have been reportedly killed in the town as a result of clashes between protesters and governmental troops.

”They were shooting us like rabbits,” a teenager from Andijan told reporters. Eyewitnesses say that they have seen massive executions too. “Soldiers brutally finished off with the wounded that were trying to walk away, killing them with automatic fire,” a local entrepreneur said. “The situation is horrible. Innocent people die, but they would put guns next to their bodies to make them look like terrorists,” a local resident said.

The gunfire killed a pregnant Uzbek woman, the Kommersant newspaper wrote. “A taxi driver was taking the pregnant woman to the hospital through the city center. He was driving very fast, and the military men shot both the driver and the woman,” an eyewitness said.

The Uzbek town of Andijan, where the uprising started, turned out to be completely isolated from the whole world by May 15th. A lot of local residents are looking for the bodies of their relatives, but governmental troops are guarding hospitals and morgues.

The exact number of victims is not known: the Uzbek government is doing its best to avoid the information leak.

Non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch condemned the Uzbek administration yesterday for using the pretext of the anti-terrorist struggle to kill the civilians. Great Britain also expressed its concern about blatant violations of human rights and the absence of democracy in Uzbekistan. Spokesmen for Uzbek authorities insist, however, that governmental troops do not kill civilians.

Islam Karimov, the President of Uzbekistan, believes that the uprising in the republic has been caused either by Islamites or the USA.

Photos by Fergana.Ru, AFP