More than 50 people have been killed in fighting in Uzbekistan's fourth-largest city, a doctor said as government troops continued to move on Saturday against gunmen who freed prisoners including 23 men on trial for Islamic extremism.
Clashes resumed on Saturday morning in the eastern city of Andijan after a lull overnight, with Uzbek army troops firing shells from armoured vehicles and using automatic weapons against the gunmen.
"They are now dispersed and we are hunting them down," said an Uzbek soldier.
The violence began late on Thursday after a military garrison was raided for its weapons, with the armed men, believed to number at least 60 to 100, then raiding the jail, freeing more 2 000 prisoners, and taking over government buildings. The unrest prompted a violent crackdown by hardline President Islam Karimov in which government troops opened fire on Friday on a crowd of 5 000 demonstrating against his government, publishes 24 News.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969