A EurasiaNet.org probe into a late-2011 rail bridge explosion in Uzbekistan has found inconsistencies in the official Uzbek assertion that terrorism was behind the mishap. An eyewitness examination of the blast site, located in a remote part Uzbekistan not far from the Uzbek-Tajik frontier, indicates that the incident likely was not the work of terrorists.
The mid-November explosion at a rail bridge severed southern Tajikistan's rail connection to the outside world. After a few days of silence, state-controlled Uzbek media characterized the event as a “terrorist act.” Subsequently, outside observers began casting doubt on Tashkent’s claim, with some asserting that Uzbekistan may have sabotaged its own railway in a twisted attempt to economically punish Tajikistan.
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Matthew Stourbridge is the pseudonym for a journalist specializing in Central Asian affairs.