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Russia Expresses Concern About Clashes in Uzbekistan

Russia has expressed concern about the violence in eastern Uzbekistan, one day after soldiers fired on protesters, killing dozens of people in the city of Andijon.

In a telephone conversation Saturday, Uzbek President Islam Karimov briefed Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation. Both voiced concern about possible threats to stability in Central Asia, and the two leaders agreed to remain in close contact.

Yesterday, Russian authorities blamed Uzbek protesters for the violence. But the European Union blamed Tashkent, saying the clashes in Andijon were a result of the government's lack of respect for human rights and failure to ease poverty.

In Washington, U.S. officials urged both the Uzbek government and demonstrators to show restraint and seek a peaceful resolution.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.