TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) — A series of bombings and
attacks linked to Islamic militants, including the first known
suicide missions in Uzbekistan, killed 19 people and injured 26,
the country’s prosecutor-general said yesterday.

From the AP
Uzbek President Islam Karimov speaks to the nation on television about a series of explosions that ripped through the Uzbek capital of Tashkent yesterday. (AP PHOTO)

“A preliminary investigation shows all the events are
interconnected and aimed at destabilization of the country,”
Prosecutor-General Rashid Kadyrov said after the attacks in the
Central Asian country Sunday and yesterday.

Female suicide bombers carried out the blasts at the Chorsu
market, the biggest bazaar in Tashkent, near the
“Children’s World” store, and at a nearby bus
stop, Kadyrov said.

Police and intelligence agents closed off the market in the
capital’s Old City. A witness who did not give her name said
she felt the ground shake when one of the explosions went off. She
said she saw a woman crying over the motionless body of a

President Islam Karimov said the attacks had been planned at
least six months in advance and had been originally set to take
place before the March 21 Central Asian new year holiday of Navruz.
The operation’s planning and financing indicated it had
outside support, he said.

“As the president, I promise all measures will be taken to
stop such terrorist acts,” Karimov said on state television
in a Russian translation of remarks in Uzbek.

Kadyrov said the events began Sunday night with a blast that
killed 10 people at a house being used by an extremist in the
central province of Bukhara.

There were also two attacks on police Sunday night and early
yesterday, killing three policemen. The two suicide bombings near
the Chorsu bazaar killed three policemen and a young child, he

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