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Explosions Hit Embassies in Uzbekistan

July 30, 2004

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) _ Explosions hit the U.S. and Israeli embassies in the Uzbek capital Friday, a top police official said. A third blast hit the general prosecutor’s office and caused ``deaths,″ a Russian news agency reported.

Embassy officials weren’t immediately available for comment, but Israel Radio said two Uzbek workers at the embassy were killed in what it called a suicide bombing. The radio said no Israelis were hurt.

The radio said all the Israeli personnel were safe inside the embassy building, while Uzbek security forces conducted searches in the area of the building.

The explosion occurred on the pavement at the entrance to the embassy, the radio said.

The Uzbek police official said the blasts occurred Friday afternoon but he had no details on casualties.

Interfax reported there were deaths in the explosion at the general prosecutor’s office, citing an unnamed source at the office.

The blasts come as 15 suspects are standing trial for a wave of violence earlier this year that left at least 47 people dead. Those attacks had included Central Asia’s first-ever suicide bombings.

The 15 suspects have pleaded guilty to charges of terrorism, murder and religious extremism. They could face the death penaty.

They are the first to stand trial for the attacks that killed 33 alleged militants, 10 police and four bystanders.

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