Three policemen killed in Kazakhstan shootings

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Three policemen and a civilian were
shot dead in Kazakhstan’s financial
capital, Almaty, as authorities said they
had launched an “anti-terrorist
operation”.

The Interfax news agency, quoting a
police source, said that “a religious
radical and probably a follower of
non-traditional Islam” was on the
rampage in central Almaty, opening
fire from time to time.
At least one attacker had been
detained by the police, the RIA news
agency quoted a security source as
saying. It said several policemen had
also been wounded.
Two witnesses told the Reuters news
agency they had heard shots in several
different areas in the centre of Almaty,
the country’s biggest city, on Monday.

“We saw a man with a rifle, he passed
by,” one shop worker said.
Police cordoned off several central
streets, including the one near a local
office of the KNB security police,
where shots were also heard.
“I heard one shot, most probably fired
from a pistol,” said one man standing
nearby.
Kazakhstan, an oil-rich nation of 18
million, is far more prosperous than its
post-Soviet neighbours in Central Asia.
But the country has recently seen
outbreaks of violence, initially
triggered by discontent over proposed
land reforms .
The national intelligence agency, the
KNB, said last month it had detained
several members of a group which
planned “terrorist acts using
improvised explosive devices”,
following a deadly attack in the
northwestern town of Aktobe.
In that incident, about two dozen men
described by the authorities as
sympathisers of the Islamic State of
Iraq and the Levant group, also known
as ISIS, attacked gun shops and a
national guard facility, killing seven
people.
Security forces killed 18 attackers,
some on the same day and some
during a subsequent manhunt.

Source: Agencies

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