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Amid Conflicting Reports, Fate Of Ailing Uzbek President Remains Unclear

Uzbek President Islam Karimov speaks during a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Tashkent on June 24.

The fate of Uzbek President Islam Karimov remained uncertain on August 30, with no official word on his condition two days after the government announced he had been hospitalized for an undisclosed ailment.

There were conflicting reports, with the Fergana News Agency citing unnamed sources as saying that he had died and other media outlets, including Russian news agency Interfax, reporting that he was still alive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on August 30 that the Kremlin had "no new information" and that it would be inappropriate for Moscow to comment on the Uzbek president's health.

The government statement on August 28 said Karimov, 78, would "require a certain amount of time for medical assessment and treatment."

Karimov's younger daughter, Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, said in an Instagram post on August 29 that he was in "stable condition" at an intensive care unit in Tashkent after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

Karimov had been scheduled to make a public appearance in Tashkent on September 1 during celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of Uzbekistan's independence.

He has ruled Uzbekistan since before the Soviet collapse of 1991.

His long rule and tight control have raised questions about succession and long-term stability in the Central Asian country of 28 million, which has never held an election judged free and fair by international monitors.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP,, Fergana, and TASS

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