KARA DARYA, Kyrgyzstan – By late afternoon May 13, talks had stalled between Uzbekistan authorities and armed demonstrators inside a government building in Andijan. Speaking by phone to the gunmen, a top law-enforcement official used an Uzbek proverb to foretell the government’s next move: “Your eyes will soon see what befalls you.” Shortly afterward, gun-mounted armored personnel carriers raced up to Babur Square outside the building, where thousands more demonstrators were rallying against the trial of 23 local businessmen on Islamic extremism charges. Without warning, Uzbek soldiers opened fire on the crowd, survivors said. Every other street leading from the square already had been blocked by military vehicles and soldiers. Uzbek authorities left only one way out: Chulpon Prospekt, Andijan’s main thoroughfare. Several thousand Uzbeks, almost all of them unarmed, jammed into the broad, tree-lined street. Fifteen minutes later, the ambush began. Uzbek soldiers on rooftops, in apartment windows and treetops fired down on protesters huddled together, many with arms linked. “The bullets rained down,” said Abdulsalam Karimov, 50. “There were soldiers everywhere with one aim–to kill everybody.”



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