Armenian Graves Desecrated in Tashkent Uzbekistan

TASHKENT (Reuters)–Dozens of Russian and Armenian graves at an Orthodox Christian cemetery in the Uzbek capital Tashkent were desecrated last week–a Russian Orthodox priest said on Wednesday.

Archpriest Nikolai of the church’s Central Asia diocese told Reuters that about 160 graves had been damaged by unknown people on Friday or Saturday last week.

"The graves were desecrated," the priest said. "The tombstones were pushed over."

Nikolai said the Uzbek government had launched an investigation to find the culprits.

The cemetery dates back to the last century and is the largest Orthodox graveyard in the former Soviet republic. Relations between Moslem Uzbeks and the minority Russian population in the Central Asian state are generally good.

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