MOSCOW — Nineteen people were killed and at least 26 were wounded in a series of terrorist incidents in the Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan, the prosecutor general said Monday.
The prosecutor, Rashid Kadyrov, told reporters in Tashkent, the capital, that the deaths involved two bombings, two attacks on police officers and an explosion that killed 10 people at a building where bombs were being assembled.
He blamed Islamic militants, who have been the target of crackdowns in Uzbekistan, where the United States has an important military base near the border with Afghanistan.
"These were terrorist acts," Kadyrov said. "There is reason to believe they were prepared over a long period and coordinated from a center, possibly abroad. All the terror acts are interconnected, according to our preliminary investigation."
The explosion at the bombmaking site occurred on Sunday night in the city of Bukhara, Kadyrov said.
In Tashkent, three police officers were killed in attacks on Sunday night and early Monday, he said. Three more police officers and a child were killed in what he called two suicide bombings on Monday near the Chorsu Bazaar in Tashkent's Old City.
Female suicide bombers carried out the attacks at the bazaar, near a large children's store and at a nearby bus stop, Kadyrov said. It was the first time that suicide bombers had been blamed in an attack in Uzbekistan.
In a televised address, President Islam Karimov said the attacks had been planned overseas as part of an international terrorist network. He and Kadyrov said some arrests had been made.
Tzbekistan, a largely Muslim nation in a region where militancy has been growing, has carried out a campaign of repression against Muslim dissidents that is documented in a report by Human Rights Watch scheduled to be released on Tuesday.
At a news conference on Monday. Foreign Minister Sadyk Safayev said attacks had been carried out by "by the hands of international terror, in- cluding Hizb ut-Tahrir and Wahhabis."
Hizb ut-Tahrir, which aims to set up a pan-Islamic state that would include post-Soviet Central Asia, is outlawed in Uzbekistan, and many of its members have been arrested. The strict Islamic Wahhabi sect is also outlawed.
In London, a spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir, Imran Waheed, denied that it was involved in Monday's attacks and asserted that the violence might have been staged by the government as a pretext for more arrests.
The killings come in advance of several international assessments of the country's human rights record.
In April the Bush administration must decide whether Uzbekistan has made "substantial and continuing progress" on human rights to be eligible for $50 million in aid, including military assistance.