Kazakh police kill five more Aktobe gunmen overnight

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 06, 2016 4:19 AM

ALMATY (Reuters) - Police killed five gunmen and detained two others overnight in the Kazakh city of Aktobe after attacks on Sunday on a national guard base and firearms shops by suspected Islamist militants, the deadliest such incident in Kazakhstan's history.

The killings, reported by the interior ministry in a statement, followed the deaths on Sunday of 10 people, including six gunmen described as "religious radicals".

"The situation in Aktobe is stable, businesses and public transport are functioning normally," the ministry said.

"The identities of all the criminals involved in the attacks have been established. Measures are being taken to locate and detain them." It did not disclose the total number of suspects.

According to the ministry, the militants first attacked a firearms store in Aktobe, which is in northwestern Kazakhstan about 100 km (60 miles) from the border with Russia and has a population of about 400,000.

They then split into two groups one of which robbed another gun shop while the other stormed a national guard base.

Yuri Tarasenko, a photo journalist, told Reuters by telephone he saw fully equipped special forces servicemen at the airport.

"The Internet is down throughout the city, large stores and banks are closed, you can hear helicopters flying," he said.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov and Mariya Gordeyeva; Editing by Dmitry Solovyov and Richard Balmforth)