Source: The Guardian
Wire Service: AP
On May 18, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "Diplomats and U.N. officials toured the eastern city of Andijan under government escort Wednesday to investigate widely differing accounts of recent bloodshed, as a rebel leader deepened the crisis in eastern Uzbekistan by announcing an Islamic uprising in his border town. The government of President Islam Karimov quickly shrugged off Bakhtiyor Rakhimov's claims as 'nonsense,' but the rebel leader asserted that his forces controlled Korasuv, a town of 20,000 on the Kyrgyz border, and were ready to fight any government troops that came to crush his rebellion. The rebels claimed to control 5,000 activists. 'We will be building an Islamic state here in accordance with the Quran,' Rakhimov said in an interview with The Associated Press. 'People are tired of slavery.' The uprising in Korasuv began with attacks on police and government posts on Saturday, a day after the region exploded in unrest with thousands of protesters taking to the streets in Uzbekistan's fourth-largest city, Andijan, in a rage over the trial of 23 Muslims and complaints of economic hardship."