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BBC News Uzbek has relaunched its weekday news bulletin for Afghanistan, which is currently viewed by 1.8m Afghans every week, as a 15-minute programme.

The new-look programme now has an even greater emphasis on Afghan and regional developments, and features technology, women’s issues, sports, and cultural-heritage slots.

The BBC’s extended, new-look TV news programme tailored for Afghanistan’s Uzbek-speakers now features touchscreen technology which allows the presenters to move between news stories, highlighting the day’s main developments, and to tap into conversations on social-media platforms popular with the audience.

While every edition of the news programme will have a sports round-up, a weekly technology slot will bring the Uzbek edition of the BBC’s flagship digital technology programme, Click. The Begum (Lady) segment will give prominence to women’s issues and stories. Madaniy Meros (Cultural Heritage) will focus on Uzbek and regional cultural heritage with original features and documentaries.

Editor, Diloram Ibrahimova, comments: “In addition to further expanding the scope of our content, extending our news programme by five minutes also allows us to bring even more voices from far corners of Afghanistan and the rest of the world. The programme’s new regular slots offer something for every strand of our audience and will help us further widen our Afghan audience base.”

Available via the website, the service’s YouTube channel and Facebook page for Afghanistan, the BBC News Uzbek TV programme is broadcast by Afghanistan’s Arezo TV at 18.00 local time, Monday to Friday.

President of Arezo TV, Nooragha Sharifi, says: “Arezo TV is honoured to represent and reflect all ethnic groups in Afghanistan in a balanced way. We are happy to broadcast the extended BBC Uzbek news programme as we strongly believe in the importance of meeting the country’s viewers’ needs for trusted information.”

BBC News Uzbek offers content for Uzbek-speakers in Uzbekistan as well as Afghanistan and the rest of the world, and is one of the largest international news providers in the region. In addition to the website, YouTube and Facebook, BBC News Uzbek connects with audiences via Instagram, Twitter and Odnoklassniki as well as Telegram.

BBC News Uzbek is part of the BBC World Service.