Another 200 people have died in clashes with security forces in Uzbekistan â on top of the 500 protesters killed when troops opened fire in the city of Andijan late last week â an aid group said Monday.
Saidjahon Zaynabitdinov, head of the human rights advocacy group Appeal, said troops killed about 200 people Saturday in Pakhtabad as anti-government protests spread through the eastern part of the former Soviet republic.
His claim could not be confirmed. Reporters are being allowed only limited access to the region.
President Islam Karimov has acknowledged that 10 soldiers and many protesters were killed in violent demonstrations in Andijan Friday that he blamed on Islamic extremists.
- FROM MAY 14, 2005: Unrest continues in Uzbekistan
Human rights organizations say hundreds of people may have died in the city over rioting linked to the imprisonment of 23 Muslim businessmen, with one hospital official putting the number at 500.
Early Monday, gunfire could still be heard in parts of Andijan.
As the protests spread to three other towns â Pakhtabad, Teshiktosh and Korasuv â many Uzbeks fled into neighbouring Kyrgyzstan seeking safety.