Kazakhstan says it kills 5 suspected of deadly attacks

IS has in the past released propaganda videos that feature a child soldier apparently from the country.

Published: 10th June 2016 04:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th June 2016 04:03 PM   |  A+A-


ASTANA: Kazakhstan's security services said they killed five alleged attackers Friday suspected of launching bloody assaults on a military base and gun shops at the weekend.

The ex-Soviet country's National Security Committee (KNB) said special forces killed four terror suspects in a flat in Aktobe in the west of the country which was shaken by the lethal attacks Sunday.

An "accomplice of the terrorists" was also killed after opening fire on police with a shotgun, the KNB said in a statement, adding that two police officers suffered "light injuries" during the operation.

The deaths bring the total number of alleged attackers the government claims to have killed to 18 since armed raids on two firearms shops killed three civilians and an attempt to storm a military base left three soldiers dead.

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Wednesday said the attackers had received instructions "from abroad" but offered no specific information about what he called a "radical pseudo-religious" group.

Nazarbayev -- who has dominated the country since independence from the Soviet Union -- suggested the attacks might be linked to political unrest that has swept the country in recent months and could be an attempt to spark a revolution.

Following independence, oil-rich Kazakhstan has largely avoided the chaos that has dogged other former Soviet nations in Central Asia.

But social unrest in the majority Muslim nation has grown as the economy reels from low oil prices and a crisis in neighbouring Russia, a key ally.

Aktobe, a city of about 400,000, is located some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the Russian border in Kazakhstan's oil-producing west.

The city was the the site of country's first ever suicide bombing in 2011 that targeted the KNB headquarters there but no others were killed in the attack.

Around 300 Kazakh citizens are believed to be fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State (IS) group and other radical organisations in Iraq and Syria.

IS has in the past released propaganda videos that feature a child soldier apparently from the country.

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