Kazakhstan fights militant attacks, investigates Daesh ties
Kazakh police responding to a riot in 2011. (AFP/File)
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Security forces in Kazakhstan have killed five “terrorists” suspected of being behind recent fatal shooting attacks in the northwestern city of Aktobe.
The forces engaged in gun battles with the militants after they refused to surrender on Friday, the National Security Committee (KNB) said in a statement.
The clashes broke out after Kazakh special forces stormed an apartment on the Nekrasov Street, where they eliminated four militants, according to the statement.
Another man who had opened fire on police on the street was shot dead in return fire.
Two police officers sustained injuries, but there were no reports of civilian casualties during the clashes.
On June 5, unidentified gunmen attacked two gun shops and a military unit in Aktobe, killing seven people and injuring 37 others, most of them servicemen.
Friday's clashes bring to 25 the number of people who have died in Sunday's attacks and the subsequent manhunt.
Authorities have not identified the group responsible for the attack, but they said one of the men involved in the assault had formerly posted a video online that was sympathetic to the Daesh militant group.
On Wednesday, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the attacks had been organized by supporters of radical teachings, who were instructed from abroad.
He vowed to use the toughest measures to “suppress extremists and terrorists.”
Aktobe is an industrial city of about 400,000, located 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the Russian border.
It was the site of Kazakhstan's first bombing in 2011, when a local man set off an explosive device inside the headquarters of the state security service.
Officials in the predominantly Muslim nation frequently announce detentions and trials of Daesh militants. Most of them are people who had traveled or planned to travel to places such as Syria and Iraq.
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- Four killed in Kazakhstan shooting targeting security forces
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- Belgium investigates potential militant links after machete attack wounds two
- French prosecutor links beheading, gas plant attack to Daesh