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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Uzbek terror attacks trial opens
Tashkent police question an elderly lady
The violence left Tashkent residents shocked and confused
A group of 15 suspects, two of them women, have gone on trial in Uzbekistan in connection with a series of bombings and attacks that killed 47 people.

They face charges including terrorism, religious extremism and attempting to overthrow the government.

The assaults took place in the capital, Tashkent, and in the south-western Bukhara region in March and April.

Prosecutors said the attacks were planned in Pakistan, where the suspects were trained by al-Qaeda instructors.

Opposition groups say the attacks - the worst the country had seen in five years - were provoked by domestic discontent.

The trial opened at the Supreme Court building in Tashkent amid tight security, with heavily-armed police blocking off surrounding streets and more than a dozen officers standing guard in the courtroom itself.

As is customary in Uzbekistan, there was no jury. The verdict will be decided by Supreme Court judge Baxtiyor Jamolov, who is presiding over the hearings.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.

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Analysis: Causes of Uzbek unrest
31 Mar 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Worries for West in Uzbek unrest
30 Mar 04  |  Asia-Pacific
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29 Mar 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Uzbekistan
14 Jan 04  |  Country profiles

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