Citing Uzbekistan’s authorities, media reports say at least 18 people were killed and 243 injured during last week’s unrest in Uzbekistan’s autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan. 

“In Nukus, 18 people died as a result of serious injuries received during massive disorders,” the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on Monday quoted Abror Mamatov, an official from Uzbekistan’s Prosecutor-General’s Office, as saying.

Security forces reportedly detained 516 people while dispersing the protesters last Friday but have now released many of them, the National Guard press office told a briefing, according to

Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on July 4 that local media in Karakalpakstan had earlier cited opposition figures as saying "thousands" had been hospitalized.

Akorda, an official website of Kazakh president, says Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, welcomed Tashkent’s measures.  He reportedly noted this during his phone talks with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

It is to be noted that Kazakhstan is home to the largest Karakalpak diaspora abroad.

The unrest over planned constitutional changes affecting Karakalpakstan’s status reportedly poses the most significant challenge yet to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s rule since he rose to power from the post of prime minister in 2016, when his long-serving mentor Islam Karimov died.

Mirziyoyev on July 2 dropped plans to amend articles of the constitution concerning Karakalpakstan’s autonomy and its right to secede, a day after protesters reportedly tried to seize local government buildings in the worst bout of violence in nearly 20 years.

The president also declared a month-long state of emergency in the northwestern province home to Karakalpaks, an ethnic minority group whose language is closer to Kazakh than Uzbek.