Security forces killed two "men with arms" near a mosque in the Uzbek capital Tashkent over the weekend, media and local residents said.
Security forces engaged a group of unidentified men in a shootout on Saturday night in a residential area in Tashkent, killing at least two, official Uzbek media reported.
The press-uz.info news agency said late on Sunday, citing a source close to the Interior Ministry, In a gunfight that broke out both "criminals" were killed.
Uzbek officials declined to comment.
A Tashkent resident who went to the scene shortly afterwards quoted witnesses as saying they had heard hours of gunfire and saw at least one dead body lying on the pavement.
"The whole area has been cordoned off and I could not get close," said the resident who asked not to be named.
Locals saw several armoured personnel carriers at the scene. Police had made several arrests and the area was calm on Monday, he said.
President Islam Karimov has ruled Uzbekistan, Central Asia's most populous nation, with an iron fist since 1989. He tolerates no opposition and critics have accused him of jailing thousands of dissidents, a charge the government denies.
The fighting happened ahead of Uzbekistan's Independence Day, on Sept. 1, when Karimov is due to address the nation.
Last Mod: 31 Ağustos 2009, 16:38