Doctor says around 500 dead in Uzbek uprising
An estimated 500 bodies have been laid out in a school in the eastern Uzbek city where troops fired on a crowd of protesters to put down an uprising, a doctor said Sunday, corroborating witness accounts of hundreds killed in the fighting.
The doctor, who said she had seen the bodies, said residents were coming to Andijan's School No. 15 to identify dead relatives, who had been placed in rows. Soldiers were guarding the school, said the doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Thousands of terrified Uzbeks trying to flee into Kyrgyzstan burned a government building Saturday and attacked border guards, a second day of violence triggered by a brazen jail break to free accused Islamists and a massive demonstration against economic conditions under the iron-fisted rule of President Islam Karimov.
The Uzbek unrest began Thursday night when protesters freed as many as 2,000 prisoners, including the 23 members of the Akramia Islamic group on trial on charges of being members of a group allied with the outlawed Islamic party Hizb-ut-Tahrir.
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