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Uzbeks Ease Web Blockade

Internet users in Uzbekistan said some international news web sites that had been blocked last week are now accessible.

Several major news sites, including those of Reuters and Bloomberg, were blocked for two days. But three Uzbeks contacted by The Associated Press on Friday said the sites had been opened.

They asked that their names not be used due to concern over official retaliation.

Information is strictly controlled in Uzbekistan, where many people rely on foreign online resources for independent reporting.

A handful of Russian news sites made unreachable this week could still not be accessed. Uzbeks have been barred for several years from visiting the web sites of the BBC and German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, which produces programs on Central Asia.

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