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US Military Vacates Airbase in Uzbekistan

The U.S. embassy in Tashkent says the U.S. military has completed the closure of its airbase in Uzbekistan.

A spokesman for the embassy says that, according to the U.S. military attaché, the last U.S. plane left the Karshi-Khanabad Air Base Monday afternoon local time.

Uzbekistan had given the United States until the end of the year to vacate the airbase, which has been a key supply link to U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Relations between the two countries became strained after an uprising in May in the eastern Uzbek city of Andijan, where human rights groups claim hundreds of anti-government protesters were killed by government forces.

Uzbekistan says the violence was triggered by Islamic militants and insists the death toll was about 180, mostly militants and security forces.

Some information for this story provided by AP and Reuters.