The uprising in Andijan, the town in the east of Uzbekistan, was organized by one of the movements of the extremist organization Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov stated today. All hostages were released, but the rebels fled in three directions, a part of them escaped to the neighboring republic of Kyrgyzstan, the president added.
According to the Uzbek president, the extremists split into three groups and disappeared in three directions, when they realized that the circle of Uzbek troops was tightening around them. President Karimov also said that the gunmen were contacting Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan on cellular phones.
"Ten police officers were killed during the uprising. The number of victims on terrorists' part is a lot larger," Karimov said. The Uzbek president added that local specialists were currently identifying dead bodies of the killed extremists. Islam Karimov specified that the troops of Uzbekistan opened fire at the rebels after they failed to come to consent during the talks with them.
The president of Uzbekistan said that he personally talked to the anonymous leader of the Islamite group. Islam Karimov arrived in Andijan at 7:30 a.m. and started negotiating with the insurgents from the special headquarters. The president personally talked with the leader of the terrorist group on the phone, although the latter wished to remain anonymous during the talks.
"Victims are not numerous, because the troops did not open the fire. It was my personal order not to fire on the gunmen and try to settle the conflict in a peaceful way," Uzbek President Karimov said.
"The riot was organized by the followers of the Akramia movement, which is a new part of the Hizb-ut-Tahrir movement. The organization's objectives are absolutely unacceptable for us. They are about hatred and the rejection of the secular way of development," Islam Karimov stated at a press conference.
"According to our information, they fool young people with phony ideas of establishing the single Islamic caliphate. We knew the names of those people, who formed the movement, prior to the mutiny in Andijan. We did not touch them, though, until the start of the outrageous action," the President of Uzbekistan emphasized.
Karimov accused the organizers of the uprising of their aspiration to establish the Shariat regime in Uzbekistan. "We know every name of the movement's leaders. Their goal is to overthrow the constitutional regime and establish the Muslim Shariat power," the president of Uzbekistan said.
Islam Karimov added that he had ordered not to apply military force against 200 demonstrators that gathered in front of the building of the regional administration in Andijan. "About 200 people gathered in front of the regional administration on today's morning. They are basically relatives of those people, who seized the building. I personally ordered not to apply any kind of force and physical violence against those people," the president said. "Uzbekistan does not wage war against women, elderly people and children," Karimov added.