Witnesses say as many as 300 people have been killed since Friday in fighting in the Uzbek city of Andijan.
An estimated 15,000 people have taken to the streets calling for the resignation of Uzbek President Islam Karimov. Karimov is an ally of George W. Bush in the "war on terror," and has allowed the establishment of a US Airbase there after the US invasion of Afghanistan. But Karimov's Uzbekistan has a "brutal, autocratic government" and constitutes a "ruthless police state" according to the London Timesonline.com.
Karimov has blamed the violence on Islamic radicals, and the Israeli daily Haaretz calls the disturbances an "insurgency." People on the streets disagree:
We want people in foreign countries to see what's going on here," one man said. "The government is blaming ordinary people, but we're not armed. Yesterday I saw one armoured vehicle driving straight into the crowd and shooting and killing people. People in Andijan have come here today to protest against those who murdered their relatives yesterday."