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UN Chief Says Uzbek Leader Rejects International Probe


UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says Uzbekistan has rejected calls for an international investigation into last week's deadly clashes in the Central Asian country.

Mr. Annan says Uzbek President Islam Karimov told him in a telephone conversation late Thursday that the situation in Andijan was under control and that every measure was being taken to bring those responsible for the violence to justice.

Two human rights groups say Uzbek security forces may have killed as many as one thousand civilians in last week's clashes with anti-government demonstrators in Andijan and the city of Pakhtaabad. The Uzbek government, which blames the violence on Islamic extremists, puts the death toll at 169.

The head of U.S. Central Command, General John Abizaid, told reporters the United States has been very cautious and cut back operations from its air base in Uzbekistan since the unrest. The base was used for support missions against the Taleban in
neighboring Afghanistan.

Information for this report is provided by Reuters.

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