Uzbekistan says 18 killed, hundreds wounded in Karakalpakstan unrest

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ALMATY, July 4 (Reuters) – Eighteen people were killed and 243 wounded during unrest in Uzbekistan’s autonomous province of Karakalpakstan which broke out last week over plans to curtail its autonomy, Uzbek authorities said on Monday.

Security forces detained 516 people while dispersing the protesters last Friday but have now released many of them, the national guard press office told a briefing.

On Saturday President Shavkat Mirziyoyev dropped plans to amend articles of the constitution concerning Karakalpakstan’s autonomy and its right to secede. He also declared a month-long state of emergency in the northwestern province.

According to official reports, protesters marched through the provincial capital of Nukus last Friday and then tried to seize local government buildings.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov Editing by Gareth Jones

Photo – An Uzbeki police guard in the old city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. EPA/SERGEI CHIRIKOV

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