The Tashkent visit of U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld began with his meeting with President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. Rumsfeld arrived here from Dushanbe (Tajikistan) at about midnight, local time. Their conversation at the presidential residence Oksaroi lasted more than an hour. According to informed sources, the discussion of the situation in Afghanistan in the light of the counter-terrorist operation being carried out by the USA in that country dominates the talks of the head of the Pentagon with the leadership of Uzbekistan.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building