A number of foreign channels' live broadcasts, including that of Russian NTV, were suddenly interrupted in Uzbekistan, replacing NTV news with music videos and CNN with Uzbek cultural programs.
The interruption was apparently related to a Thursday night incident, a presidential press service official report aired on Uzbek public television's Channel at 12:00 p.m. local time indicated. It was the first time Uzbek media reported the event.
According to a press service representative, a group of armed criminals at a correctional labor colony in Andizhan tried to seize the administration and National Security Service (SNB) building and some of the prisoners escaped.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov has not commented on the situation.
Andizhan, population 303,000, is located in the Uzbek northeast in the Fergana Valley. The region's volatile location at the crossroads of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan was a catalyst in bloody ethnic conflicts in the late 80s and early 90s.