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    Turkmenistan closes border with Uzbekistan

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    Turkmenistan has closed its border with Uzbekistan, a spokesman for the Uzbek customs committee said Thursday.

    TASHKENT, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - Turkmenistan has closed its border with Uzbekistan, a spokesman for the Uzbek customs committee said Thursday.

    "Customs checkpoints on the Uzbek side are working as normal, but the Turkmen side has closed crossing points along the whole border," he told RIA Novosti.

    The spokesman said the situation at the five customs and security checkpoints on the border with Turkmenistan remained calm after Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, who ruled the Central Asian country for more than 20 years, died early Thursday at the age of 66.

    The Turkmen government, the State Security Council and parliamentarians said in a televised statement earlier: "The people of Turkmenistan will remain committed to the political course of Saparmurat Turkmenbashi."

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