Anton Ponomarev: Russia frightens Middle Asia again

The leader of anti-terrorist centre of the CIS states Boris Mylnikov stated today that Usam ben Laden, hiding in Afghanistan now, had allocated about 20 million dollars for training of militants of Uzbekistan Islam Movement. The general estimated the strength of the movement at 4 thousand men, and, according to him, there are 350 Chechens among them. Most militants are hiding in Uzbekistan and Kirgiziya and they are ready to begin operations as soon as the snow comes off from the mountain passes, General Milnikov says. All the Middle Asian republics stated about their readiness to collaborate with Taleban recently. It should put Russia on its guard: it is unprofitable and dangerous to give up the Middle Asia to Islamists. Evidently because of this reason the reports about financial assistance of ben Laden to the Uzbekistan Islam Movement and about the threat of the recommence of operations appear.

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