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Last Updated: Friday, 13 May, 2005, 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK
Uzbek media clampdown stifles unrest news
News sellers in Tashkent
Uzbek papers provide patchy coverage of Andijan

State TV and radio issued official statements saying the situation in eastern Uzbekistan was under control, as the government blocked foreign news broadcasts in the country.

Authorities cut all foreign TV news programming, including CNN and the BBC, replacing them with Uzbek and foreign entertainment channels.

In its news bulletins, Uzbek state TV said "an armed group of criminals" had attacked the security forces in Andijan. "The bandits seized dozens of weapons and moved on to attack a correctional colony, setting some convicts free," the TV said.

Describing the armed men as "extremists", state TV reported that nine people were killed and 34 wounded in clashes in the city.

'Bloodshed'

One Russian news agency reporting from the city said local Radio Diydor had gone off air and mobile telephones and the city's telephone network were working only intermittently.

The Ferghana.ru website, a Russian-language site which provides up-to-date reports from the restive Uzbek region, was reported to be inaccessible by Russian news agency RIA.

But BBC Monitoring later accessed it and saw it carried a statement by one of the accused in the criminal case against Uzbek Islamic businessmen in the city, calling for Russian mediation to resolve the crisis peacefully "and avoid mass bloodshed".

"In the morning, troops fired from APCs on women," the website said.

Official Uzbek sources, both broadcast and print media, have failed to mention the peaceful protests in the city about the trial that have been going on for the past week.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Reports of violence and shooting in Andijan



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