FLASH| 11 Extremists Killed

by on June 7, 2016
At least 17 people, including 11 “ex­tremists,” were killed during a series of attacks in oil-rich Ka­zakhstan, an increasing­ly authoritarian ex-Sovi­et nation that has largely avoided violence by re­ligious zealots, officials said Monday.
Groups of gunmen at­tacked two arms shops to seize weapons and rammed a minibus through the doors of a national guard base in the northwestern Kazakh city of Aktobe on Sunday, In­terior Ministry spokes­man Almas Sadubayev said in televised remarks.
He said the attack­ers killed three civilians and three security offic­ers and wounded scores more, but were repelled in a counter-terrorism operation. Eleven assail­ants were killed and sev­en more captured.
Sadubayev said the at­tackers followed “radical, non-traditional religious movements”, a euphe­mism used in Kazakh­stan to refer to hardline Muslim fighters.
However, one analyst expressed doubt over the official version, saying law enforcement agencies often imitate counter-ter­rorism operations by ac­cusing average criminals of siding with religious fighters.
“Kazakhstan is active­ly fighting the so-called religious extremism, but these cases are not cov­ered by mass media and are not studied by hu­man rights activists,” a Central Asia analyst Ma­ria Yanovskaya told Al Ja­zeera. “Sometimes they arrest a group [of peo­ple] for robbing a shop and accuse them of fi­nancing terrorism.”
Unlike Russia and Ka­zakhstan’s other ex-Sovi­et neighbours in Central Asia, the oil-rich nation of 18 million has rarely seen attacks instigated by religious hardliners.
But Aktobe, a city of 400,000 near the Rus­sian border, was the site of the first suicide bomb­ing in Kazakhstan’s his­tory in 2011.

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