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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Uzbeks Ban Tours

Uzbekistan has barred tour firms from taking foreigners to its mountain and border regions because of recent fighting, the national tour operator said in a statement Monday.

The order appeared to come in response to the threat posed by Islamic militants seeking to carve out an independent state where the borders of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan converge. Government troops from all three countries have been battling the insurgents since the start of summer.

According to the statement, the government will suspend the license of any tour company that doesn’t comply.

Earlier this summer, three American hikers were kidnapped in southern Kyrgyzstan near the border with Uzbekistan. They were held for several days before managing to escape.