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Tuesday, February 16, 1999 Published at 10:15 GMT

World: Asia-Pacific

Blasts in Tashkent

There has been a series of explosions and reports of an exchange of gunfire in Tashkent, the capital of the Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan.

Reuters news agency says there were five blasts altogether, with three going off close to the Interior Ministry and other government buildings around Independence Square in the heart of the city.

Witnesses spoke of workers in the buildings being evacuated and ambulances arriving at the scene.

A government spokesman described the explosions as terrorist acts, and he confirmed that there had been casualties but gave no figures.

Details are still coming in. .

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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