Bishkek/Washington, May 7. The U.S. State Department has warned that what it calls extremist Islamic groups may be planning terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens or interests in Kyrgyzstan. In a public announcement yesterday, the department said groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) could be planning attacks.
The department describes the IMU as a "terrorist organization with links to al-Qaida."
The department warned last month the IMU, Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement could be plotting attacks on hotels and U.S. interests in Uzbekistan.
Bolot Januzakov, head of security and defense department of Kyrgyzstan's presidential administration, told RFE/RL today that it is early to say about elimination of international terrorists' threat: "It is impossible to say whether is there any danger (of the IMU) or not.
However, our main aim and main duty is to (maintain) security of our state and nation. We are organizing exercises of our army, our young men, to be ready always, any time, to face (them)".
Some U.S. citizens in Bishkek told RFE/RL that they don't feel any danger to them in Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan has hosted U.S. troops at Manas airbase, near Bishkek, since the country was used as a staging post for U.S.-led military operations in Afghanistan in 2001.