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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 May, 2005, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Key excerpts: Karimov address
Uzbek President Islam Karimov
President Karimov said the violence was directed from abroad
Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov has spoken to the press about the clashes in the city of Andijan, in which dozens of people were killed.

The BBC's Monica Whitlock, who was at the briefing in Tashkent, said Mr Karimov seemed tired and sometimes stumbled during the two-and-a-half-hour address.

Here are some excerpts.

Members of the Akramiya which is a new sect of the Hizb ut-Tahrir have organised disorder. Their aims are hatred and aversion to the secular path of development. These are unacceptable for us.

Attempts to artificially implant democratic processes in Uzbekistan can lead to third forces making use of the situation. These third forces are Islamic fundamentalists.

Those who committed criminal activities in Andijon cannot be called rebels. They were a group of armed criminals.

The police and our citizens showed courage in the situation.

We will tell you on Monday about the measures which will be taken in relation to officials who failed to prevent the mass disorders in Andijon Region. The head of the regional directorate of the Interior Ministry has been relieved of his post.

Today we know that it took at least from three to six months to organise these events.

The law enforcement agencies know practically every organiser of the events by name - these are the leaders of the Akramiya movement. Their final goal is to unite all Muslims and create a Muslim caliphate in Central Asia. They see overthrowing the constitutional order in Uzbekistan as one of their main tasks.

When they seized the building of the regional administration they began telephoning their relatives, all their wives, all the family members and practically demanded that they come to the administration building and take their position around the building in a manner of a live shield.

According to our precise information, they called Kyrgyzstan's Dzhalal-Abad and Osh regions. There were also telephone calls to Afghanistan. They called their sponsors and masters who have organised these events and provided assistance, and briefed them on the events and said that they had won. Our specialists heard their telephone conversation and recorded it. All the material will be used during the investigation.

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