|People walk outside burning movie theater in downtown Andijan |
Uzbek President Islom Karimov has flown to the Eastern town of Andijan after a prison break overnight sparked clashes that left nine people dead and 34 others injured. In a separate incident in the capital, Tashkent, a security guard at the Israeli embassy has shot and killed a suspected suicide bomber.
Uzbek foreign ministry officials say negotiations are underway with rebels at the prison, who have taken at least ten policemen hostage, after earlier freeing some two-thousand prisoners.
Details are sketchy as the situation is still quite fluid. But latest reports say the rebels have asked for Russia to mediate.
In remarks broadcast on Russian television, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko says Moscow is monitoring the situation with concern.
In a separate incident in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, police have shot and killed a man who approached the Israeli embassy in a suspicious manner and ignored orders to stop.
The violence comes amid anger over a high-profile trial of more than 20 Muslim business owners for alleged Islamic extremism.