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Uzbek Blasts Hit U.S. and Israeli Embassies
yahoo news/Reuters ^ | July 30, 2004

Posted on 07/30/2004 10:08:11 AM PDT by nuconvert

Uzbek Blasts Hit U.S. and Israeli Embassies

By Shamil Baigin

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (Reuters) - Suspected suicide bombers struck the U.S. and Israeli embassies in Uzbekistan as well as the state prosecutor's office Friday, killing two local guards at the Israeli mission and wounding nine other people.

The clearly coordinated blasts in the capital Tashkent came four days after the authoritarian ex-Soviet state, a U.S. ally in the "war on terror," put 15 suspected al Qaeda followers on trial for bomb attacks in March that killed nearly 50 people.

U.S. and Israeli officials said the three bombers seemed to approach the buildings on foot as business was winding up for the day. A U.S. intelligence official said they were probably sent by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which came close to assassinating President Islam Karimov five years ago.

"One policeman and one security guard who were guarding the embassies were killed. Nine people were injured. Two of them are in a serious condition," the Uzbek Interior Ministry said.

An Israeli security source told Reuters: "The attacker came as close as possible to the door, saw the Uzbek security men and then detonated himself." Sources said one of the dead was the ambassador's personal bodyguard, the other an embassy guard.

Body parts and flesh lay outside the embassy and windows were shattered in houses opposite.

A man blew himself up in the lobby of the prosecutor's office, wounding five people, Interior Minister Zakirdzhon Almatov said.

A U.S. embassy spokeswoman said there had been no injuries confirmed among staff there. The bomb had detonated outside.

FEAR OF RADICAL ISLAM

Karimov, who has brooked no challenge to his rule since Communist times, was visiting Ukraine's Crimean peninsula but would rush home overnight, local officials said.

Uzbekistan's 26 million people are mostly nominally Muslim, although decades of Soviet atheism has made observance patchy.

The president tolerates only state-sponsored clerics in mosques and has cracked down on unauthorized religious activity which he says threatens to import the sort of radical Islam once practiced across the Afghan border by the Taliban.

He has won support from the United States by allowing U.S. troops to set up a base in the country but his human rights record has caused controversy in Washington, which this month suspended aid to Tashkent because of rights abuses.

The three buildings targeted are spread across the modern city of two million located in the heart of arid Central Asia.

Israeli ambassador Zvi Cohen said he and three other Israeli officials were in the building at the time along with two local security guards. Security had been stepped up since the earlier bombings wrought havoc in Uzbekistan in March.

Israel's Foreign Ministry confirmed no embassy workers or other Israelis were hurt in the blast. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, it said in a statement.

"The world is confronted with a wave of terrorism," Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner told Reuters. "There is an absolute need to unite all efforts to combat this scourge."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: embassy; irael; terrorism; us; uzbeck; uzbeckistan

1 posted on 07/30/2004 10:08:13 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert

2 posted on 07/30/2004 10:13:16 AM PDT by nuconvert ( Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.)
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To: nuconvert

Thanks for the info.


3 posted on 07/30/2004 10:17:51 AM PDT by talleyman ("Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.")
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To: nuconvert
I thought that the IMU had been wiped out by Operation Enduring Freedom and the Pakistani's drive to flush Al Qaeda out of the NWFP; are there still some residual elements of this movement that persist?

Or, is this the work of groups like Al-Muhajiroun and foreign-sponsored Wahabbis?

4 posted on 07/30/2004 10:30:13 AM PDT by The Scourge of Yazid (Paid for by the Palestinian National Authority. Actually paid for by those infidel devils. Shush!)
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To: The Scourge of Yazid

Islamic Movement of Uzbeckistan Claims TASHKENT Blasts

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_919583,00050004.htm


5 posted on 07/30/2004 12:11:52 PM PDT by nuconvert ( Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.)
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To: nuconvert
Thanks for the link.

I'm always suspicious when a certain group-especially one whose capacity for destruction has been severely diminished-claims responsibility for a massive terrorist bombing attempt.

However, you can never be too sure with these creatures.

They seem to be awfully resilient.

6 posted on 07/30/2004 12:16:00 PM PDT by The Scourge of Yazid (Paid for by the Palestinian National Authority. Actually paid for by those infidel devils. Shush!)
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To: The Scourge of Yazid

Sometimes it only takes a few survivors, to get the ball rolling again.


7 posted on 07/30/2004 12:23:25 PM PDT by nuconvert ( Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.)
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To: nuconvert
True enough.

People should have learned the lessons of Hitler's rise to power.

8 posted on 07/30/2004 12:24:49 PM PDT by The Scourge of Yazid (Paid for by the Palestinian National Authority. Actually paid for by those infidel devils. Shush!)
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To: nuconvert
Thanks for the map. It's embarrassing to admit, but I'm always getting Uzbekistan and Tajikistan mixed up.
9 posted on 07/30/2004 2:33:38 PM PDT by proudpapa (of three.)
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