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    Data on the number of victims of events in Andijan disseminated by foreign media is exaggerated -- Nikonov

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    TASHKENT, June 11 (RIA Novosti, Abu-Ali Niyazmatov) - The data on the number of victims of recent tragic events in Andijan (Uzbekistan) disseminated by foreign media is obviously exaggerated, said president of the Russian Politika foundation Vyatcheslav Nikonov in a statement published by press service of the Uzbek President on Saturday. Nikonov heads a delegation of Russian political experts and journalists. Uzbek President Islam Karimov received the delegation in his Oskaroy residence on Friday. The delegation, which includes director of the Russian Institute of Political Studies Sergei Markov, editor-in-chief of Political Class magazine Vitaly Tretyakov, first deputy editor-in-chief of Trud newspaper Rafael Guseinov and advisor to the Moscow Mayor Nurali Altypov, visited Andijan on Friday and met with public representatives of this city in the east of Uzbekistan.

    According to press service of the Uzbek President, members of the delegation "talked to the witnesses of the tragic events on May 13, with former terrorist hostages and members of victims' families."

    "At present, there are many organizations in the world that finance and practice violence. I do not disregard the possibility that individuals connected to the events in Kyrgyzstan (in March 2005) also participated in disturbances in Andijan. After all, there were people among terrorists who came to the republic from outside," Nikonov stated during the meeting with the faculty and students of the Academy of State and Social Development under the Uzbek President.

    On the same day, Russian political experts participated in the work of a round table held at the University of global economy and diplomacy. The participants discussed issues of developing a civil society.

    According to Uzbek official data, early May 13 and the next day, a series of terrorist acts and bandit assaults that led to human casualties were conducted in the Andijan region. The total number of victims was 173 people, the authorities report.

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