Soldiers Fire on Crowd

by Nathan Hamm on 5/13/2005 · 3 comments


Troops opened fire on Friday in the eastern Uzbek town of Andizhan where thousands of protesters had massed, some demanding that long-serving President Islam Karimov step down, a Reuters correspondent said.

Shamil Baigin said the shooting came from a truck full of soldiers which, along with an armoured personnel carrier, had sped to the town square where the protesters had gathered.

He saw one body lying on the ground following the shooting.


Soldiers opened fire on protesters in eastern Uzbekistan on Friday and killed three after demonstrators stormed a jail to free 23 men accused of Islamic extremism, witnesses said.

Protesters hit the ground as the soldiers started shooting outside the administration building. An Associated Press reporter saw one dead body, and participants in the rally said two more had been killed.

Update: See Lyndon’s translation of RIA coverage.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Lyndon May 13, 2005 at 9:22 am

RIA Novosti has an independent report of intensive gunfire and many victims – translated here:

None of the late-breaking stuff is on RIA’s English-language site, and they have renamed the page where they are aggregating all of their reports about the situation in Andijan – it’s now here:

david_walther May 13, 2005 at 9:45 am


Thanks for your updates. You seem to be on top of this the best, I really appreciate your sources.

Lyndon May 13, 2005 at 10:26 am

David, thanks, this is not my usual beat, but it is an interesting and breaking story, and I’m in a closer time zone than anyone except the people who are actually in Uzbekistan, and they don’t have media access. I am hoping to hear more comments from people who are actually in the country, but it does seem like the domestic information blackout is pretty effective.

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