RIOTS IN UZBEKISTAN KILL 173 PEOPLE

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TASHKENT, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - The total number of people killed in recent riots in Uzbekistan has reached 173, says the Uzbek prosecutor-general's office press-release circulated this Friday in Tashkent. Three police men gravely injured during these events have died in a hospital; another 276 are now undergoing treatment in different medical establishments.

In the small hours of May 13 and during the entire day, the Andijan region was swept by acts of terrorism and hold-ups which caused casualties among the population. On the same day, the Uzbekistan prosecutor-general's office instituted legal proceedings over such cases as terrorism, encroachment on the Uzbekistan constitutional set-up, massive riots, hostage-taking and other crimes.

Investigation is now being underway into the circumstances of the acts of terrorism, exposure of all the accomplices, confiscation of illegitimately-seized weapons and ammunition and identification of the dead.

Of 98 people detained on suspicion of involvement in the acts of terrorism, 52 have been arrested and six of them who have come up with a penitential statement and who have got no blood of the innocent on their hands have been let out on recognizance not to leave.

Of 527 convicts and defendants who were illicitly set free during the riots, 470 have already come back on their own to continue serving their term in prison and 15 have been returned to prison by force.

As to hostages, 14 have been killed by criminals while the remaining 40 released by police and are now being rendered medical, psychological and social aid.

Measures are being taken to return home those civilians who have been forced by terrorists to migrant to the territory of a adjacent state. Of them living in a tent camp, only six people have returned-these are two women and four children.

Progress in the ongoing investigation is to be reported, says the Uzbek prosecutor-general's office press-release.

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