US puts Uzbek group on terror watch-list
WASHINGTON: The US government said Thursday it has placed the Islamic Jihad Group on its list of international terrorist organisations, saying the group had carried out several bombings in the central Asian republic of Uzbekistan.
“This is a group you might not be familiar with, but it’s active in Central Asia. It broke away from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and it is responsible for coordinated bombing attacks,” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters.
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) is a “specially designated global terrorist organisation” listed by the United Nations.
Boucher said the Islamic Jihad Group (IJG)) was behind the bombings of the US and Israeli embassies in Tashkent as well as the office of the Uzbek prosecutor general that killed at least two people and wounded nine in July 2004. The IJG “claimed responsibility for these attacks and indicated that future attacks are planned,” Boucher said later in a statement. The group “continues to target Americans and US facilities overseas and is a dangerous threat to US interests,” he added.
In March and April 2004, IJG suicide bombers “attacked a popular bazaar and other locations in Tashkent,” Boucher said, “resulting in the deaths of more than a dozen police officers and innocent bystanders and dozens of injuries.”
The attackers, which included female suicide bombers, “targeted the local government offices of the Uzbekistani and Bukharo police, killing approximately 47 people, including 33 terrorists.
“These attacks marked the first use of female suicide bombers in Central Asia,” Boucher said. afp