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Shootouts in Western Kazakhstan Raise Specter of Extremism

Just what is going on in western Kazakhstan? Two police officers slaughtered in a village on June 30, an elite task unit officer killed trying to hunt down the killers, and the relative of one suspect shot dead while fleeing from the security forces – it sounds more like troubled Afghanistan than usually tranquil Kazakhstan. 

Adding to the intrigue, this bout of violence comes in the wake of a May suicide bomb attack in the western oil city of Aktobe that authorities dismissed as the work of the mafia.

This time, police “do not rule out the involvement of religious extremists in the murder of the police officers,” Kazakhstan Today reported as security forces continue to hunt the killers.

The two officers were killed in the village of Shubarshi, 250 kilometers from Aktobe, when attackers set upon their checkpoint, shot them, and fled the scene.

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Shootouts in Western Kazakhstan Raise Specter of Extremism

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