Twelve Kazakhstan tourists detained in Uzbekistan

08:30, July 29, 2011      

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A group of Kazakh tourists has been detained in Uzbekistan on charges of illegal border crossing, Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov said Thursday.

Omarov said the tourists, nine teens and three adults, were taken into custody according to the Uzbekistan criminal code of illegal border crossing.

They were also accused of importing a smooth-bore weapon into the Uzbek territory, the spokesman said.

Omarov said Uzbekistan will free the teens no earlier than Saturday. The release date of the adults will be soon decided.

Kazakhstan's embassy in Uzbekistan on Thursday asked the Uzbek foreign ministry to explain the detention of the tourists.

The 12 Kazakh tourists, who went on a hiking tour on July 10, were reported missing Monday.

After days of searching, Kazakhstan's emergency rescue team and the border guards found that they were arrested June 14 by Uzbek security forces for allegedly illegally crossing the Kazakh-Uzbek border.

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