Tashkent blasts are blamed on Islamic radicals

A series of terrorist blasts in Tashkent in late March were plotted and perpetrated by Islamic radicals and did not involve Uzbekistan's opposition forces, Vyacheslav Kasymov, Director of the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-terrorist Centre of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (which is composed of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), said in Bishkek on Monday.

The Uzbek security service's intelligence proves that the blasts were plotted and staged by Jaamat fighters.

They are believed to have rented flats not far from the scenes in advance. They used improvised explosive devices stuffed with saltpetre and aluminium powder.

"The terrorist acts were financed by forces outside the republic, which seek instability in Central Asia," said Mr. Kasymov.

A mobile phone was found on the scene. Investigators found out that the terrorists had talked with someone in the neighbouring Kazakhstan.

Uzbekistan's law enforcers and their counterparts in Kazakhstan have agreed to join efforts in investigating these acts of terrorism.

The series of terrorist acts in Uzbekistan in late March 2004 claimed the lives of several dozen people.

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