Eighteen dead in unrest last week in Uzbek

The Nuukus unrest is the most serious internal crisis the Uzbek president has faced so far.

In 2005, his predecessor Islam Karimov had a bloody repression of demonstrations in Andijan (east). Hundreds of people died there.

Uzbekistan is by far the most populous of the countries of ex-Soviet Central Asia with some 35 million inhabitants.

The Uzbek prosecutor’s office on Monday reported 18 deaths in the unrest late last week between anti-government protesters and security forces in northwestern Uzbekistan.

No opposition is tolerated in the country.

“Eighteen people died of their wounds during the mass unrest in Nukus,” Abror Mamatov, a representative of the prosecutor’s office, The Uzbek National Guard reported 243 wounded.

The president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, had recognized Sunday “victims” among both civilians and police following demonstrations Friday and Saturday to denounce a constitutional reform project reducing the autonomy of Karakalpakistan, a poor region in northwestern Uzbekistan of which Noukus is the capital.