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Thousands of Prisoners Released in Uzbek Town
Politics: 13 May 2005, Friday.

Uzbekistan's eastern town of Andijan has seen dramatic events unfolding overnight, as crowds of people have gathered calling for freedom.

During the night, a group of armed men broke open Andijan jail, freeing everyone inside. BBC informs of as many as 4,000 inmates, both political prisoners and ordinary criminals.

Snipers are said to have fired on the demonstrators gathered outside the mayor's office in the main square.

Reports say three of the snipers have been pulled down by the crowd, with military helicopters flying overhead.

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