Thousands took to the streets of an eastern Uzbek city on Friday to protest the detention of 23 Islamic businessmen on &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/yougoslavia/2001/10/26/19243.html ' target=_blank>extremism charges, witnesses said. The president rushes to the city amid reports an armed mob has attacked a prison and freed convicts.
Witnesses reported chaos in the streets of Andijan, but a government spokesman reached by telephone said administrative buildings remained under government control. Still, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and other leaders flew Friday to Andijan, 300 miles east of Tashkent, near Kyrgyz border, tells ABC News.
According to the Scotsman, Uzbek President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/cis/2002/12/12/40739.html ' target=_blank>Islam Karimov and other leaders were flying to the eastern city, Andijan, to assess the situation and state and regional administrative buildings there remained under government control, police and government spokesmen said on condition of anonymity. "The people have risen," said Valijon Atakhonjonov, the brother of one of defendants in the trial.
Atakhonjonov, reached by telephone from Tashkent, described chaos in the streets, with shots being fired into the air by security forces and thousands of people massing in front of the local administration building.
However, a government spokesman in Andijan, also reached by telephone, said city and regional administrative buildings remained under government control.