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Foreign Diplomats, Journalists Visit Site of Uzbek Violence


Uzbekistan's government has taken a group of foreign diplomats and journalists on a tour of the site of deadly clashes last week between security forces and anti-government demonstrators.

The group was flown today-Wednesday into Andijan, where the clashes occurred on Friday. One opposition group estimates that 745 people were killed, while the government says 169 died, including 32 soldiers.

Several diplomats complained that today's trip did not give them enough time or opportunity to evaluate what really did happen. They said they were not allowed to roam freely and were introduced only to residents who backed the official version of events.

Elsewhere today, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and the British foreign secretary Jack Straw called for an independent international probe of the events in Andijan.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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