21:59 GMT +322 September 2018
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    Unrest in Andijan planned in advance from abroad

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    NOVO-OGARYOVO, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - The unrest in Andijan, Uzbekistan last month was planned a few months or even a few years in advance, and was caused by Uzbekistan's independent policy, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin here, outside Moscow, Tuesday evening. "We have sufficient evidence that proves the operation was prepared a few months, or even years in advance," Karimov said. He said detainees are currently being interrogated. Some of them received advanced military training outside Uzbekistan and one of the organizers is hiding in Kyrgyzstan with his cronies, he said.

    According to Karimov, those responsible for the Andijan events employed the same religious, extremist and radical forces, they had themselves previously called extremists and terrorists.

    An open court trial on the case will open in Andijan in several months, Karimov said.

    "Court and only court will put an end to everything that happened," he said.

    Karimov said any interested persons could attend hearings, including U.S. congressmen and human rights advocates, who, Karimov said "had spoken arrogantly about the tragedy."

    Karimov said he opposes an international investigation into the uprising because any international commission would focus on victims among population, regardless of any argument proven by the Uzbek government, which would inevitably be blamed for the events.

    According to Karimov, the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament and NATO would be first in line to set up investigative commissions.

    "Consequently, the indignant European democratic community would demand that the Uzbek government and leadership account for innocent victims", Karimov said, adding it was impossible to avoid victims in the city after 600 prisoners fled and a big stockpile of ammunition was seized.

    Karimov said many foreign journalists had come to Andijan a few days before the uprising.

    "The informational attack against Uzbekistan started in advance of the operation," Karimov said.

    He said that journalists reported right away that 600-800 were killed in the events, a number that was not confirmed.

    "Those who organized all of this, followed and implemented a scenario, that either way turned out to be a lose-lose situation for Uzbekistan," Karimov said.

    He called the events "pain for the Uzbek people" and a "pain that is hard to endure."

    "[The situation] can't be viewed out of context with those significant developments in the world and in the post-Soviet space."

    Karimov said the Fergana Valley lies at the junction of three Central-Asian republics.

    "The enclave was to unite and play an important or even decisive role according to the organizer's scenario," Karimov said.

    He said the operation in Andijan was due to Uzbekistan's unwillingness to converge with NATO.

    "For some reason they are interested in our membership in NATO. We live in Asia. NATO is a North-Atlantic bloc, having no concern with Asia. But everyone has noticed it has been insistently moving towards Transcaucasia and trying to expand its presence in Central Asia."

    Karimov briefed Putin in full on the events.

    Putin said he was satisfied the situation in Uzbekistan was under control. He said Russian secret services had obtained the information prior to the events after infiltrating militants from Afghanistan.

    According to Putin, the secret services of the countries involved were notified of a possible impending uprising.

    Uzbek authorities had reported that there had been several terrorist attacks in Andijan region late on May 12 and into the early hours of May 13, resulting in 176 killed and 295 wounded. According to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, 79 terrorists were killed and 62 were wounded.

    Investigating authorities said international terrorist organizations had been involved, including The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (formerly the Islamic Movement of Turkestan), Hizb-ul-Tahrir and its arm Akramiya.

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