From AP via ABC News, “Violent Uprising Breaks Out in Uzbekistan”
ANDIJAN, Uzbekistan — Thousands of people, many of them armed, took to the streets of an eastern Uzbek city on Friday, demanding freedom for 23 prominent businessmen on trial for alleged ties to an Islamic terror group. The protest quickly turned violent, with nine people reported killed and dozens wounded in clashes with police.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov and other leaders immediately rushed to Andijan, where witnesses reported chaos in the streets and security forces firing in the air. The city 300 miles east of Tashkent near the Kyrgyz border has been the scene of growing unrest in recent weeks.
The Russian news agency ITAR-Tass agency said armed protesters surrounded police in two districts. Nine people were killed and more than 30 wounded, it said. In a sign of the seriousness of the situation, the government cut all foreign TV news programming, replacing them with Uzbek and foreign entertainment channels.
Tensions were also running high in the capital Tashkent, where police shot and killed a man they mistakenly thought was a suicide bomber outside the Israeli Embassy. The man was carrying wooden objects that appeared to be explosives, said a police official who wished to remain unnamed.
Both the Israeli and the U.S. embassies in Tashkent have been targeted by suicide bombers in the last year. The government blames Islamic extremists…
Witnesses said some of the protesters attacked a prison and freed its inmates. Atakhonjonov said he could not confirm reports that the crowd had attacked an army garrison as well…