Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has admitted that multiple people, reportedly both protestors and cops, have been killed in recent protests in Karakalpakstan province.
The protests, which have included clashes between civilians and security forces, were sparked by proposed amendments to the Uzbekistani constitution that would remove Karakalpakstan’s sovereignty.
The region is currently referred to as a sovereign republic within Uzbekistan and retains the ability to declare independence from via a referendum.
In response to the protests, the government has limited internet access and declared a state of emergency in the region that is set to last at least one month.
The proposed amendments also seek to lengthen the presidential term limits from 5 to 7 years.
Exact numbers of those killed are yet unknown, though at least 5 deaths have been reported along with thousands that have been injured in the clashes.
It is unlikely that the violence will end anytime soon, as protesters are fighting for their independence and the Uzbekistan government has a long history of the violent repression of its people.