Tags: Source: | U.S. | Aircraft | Uzbekistan

Source: U.S. Aircraft in Uzbekistan

Sunday, 23 September 2001 12:00 AM

Uzbek and U.S. officials declined to either confirm or deny the information.

The source said the aircraft had arrived last week, but declined to give the exact date or any further details.

However, according to the Russian Interfax news agency, two U.S. C-130 cargo planes landed at a military airfield, where technical equipment including intelligence-gathering apparatus was unloaded. One of the aircraft left Uzbekistan after unloading, according to the report, which added that about 100 U.S. servicemen had also landed.

The London Guardian reported that the two Hercules aircraft were carrying surveillance equipment to be installed along the Uzbek-Afghani border.

On Wednesday, Uzbek President Islam Karimov spoke by telephone with U.S. President George W. Bush. The Uzbek president's office reported that the two had reached agreement on cooperation in the fight against international terrorism.

Karimov said, "So far there have been no discussions between Uzbekistan and the United States about using Uzbek airspace or military bases for operations inside Afghanistan." But he added that his country was "open to talks."

According to Karimov, Uzbekistan is open for consultations and discussions on the best way to eliminate terrorist centers, camps and bases in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Karimov also said the United States would be justified in striking against Afghanistan if there was conclusive evidence that last week's terror attacks in New York and Washington were prepared on Afghan territory. Karimov called Afghanistan "one of the training grounds where terrorists of all denominations are trained."

Uzbekistan is acutely aware of the threat posed by Islamic terrorism. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan - whose members shelter in Afghanistan, officials say - seeks the overthrow of the Karimov regime and its replacement with an Islamic state.

Bomb attacks organized and carried by the IMU in Tashkent in February 1999, killed 16 and wounded more than 100 people. The attack was widely believed to be an attempt on Uzbek President Islam Karimov's life. The IMU also organized armed incursions into the Surkhandarya and Tashkent regions of Uzbekistan during the Summer of last year.

This week the Interfax news agency reported Jumabay Hajiyev, better known as Juma Namangani, a top leader of the IMU, had been made a commander of a Taliban military unit in northern Afghanistan. The report quoted a Taliban source as saying that Namangani has been appointed a commander of a 9,000-man unit in Talukan, the administrative center of the northern Afghan province of Takhar, 60 kilometers from the Tajik-Afghan border.

According to Interfax, the Talukan unit includes Taliban troops, mercenaries from Pakistan and Arab countries, Uzbek extremists and Chechen militants. In July 2001 Namangani and international terror suspect Osama bin Laden were given authorization by the Taliban government to coordinate mercenary and Taliban efforts, Interfax reported.

After trying Juma Namangani in absentia, the Uzbekistan Supreme Court sentenced him to death last November.

The U.S. government placed the IMU on its list of international terrorist groups last year.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Uzbek and U.S. officials declined to either confirm or deny the information. The source said the aircraft had arrived last week, but declined to give the exact date or any further details. However, according to the Russian Interfax news agency, two U.S. C-130 cargo planes...
Source:,U.S.,Aircraft,Uzbekistan
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2001-00-23
Sunday, 23 September 2001 12:00 AM
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