Uzbekistan agency to fight termites
Uzbekistan has set up a government anti-termite agency to combat the insects' damage to the Central Asian nation.
The news agency Interfax cited the head of the new body, Aloviddin Khamrayev, as saying two species of termites had spread across the country.
Khamrayev said the plague may be caused by the warming climate and the drying up of the Aral Sea, an inland body of water destroyed by the diversion of rivers for irrigation during the Soviet era.
He says the insects have damaged buildings in the ancient walled city of Khiva, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Termites have also reportedly affected agriculture and damaged transportation and telecommunication equipment.