Police in Kazakhstan say nine gunmen have been killed in a special operation to detain an armed group suspected of being behind the killing of three Interior Ministry officers in June.
The ministry said in a statement Monday one policeman died during last week's raid in the village of Kenkiyak in northwestern Kazakhstan. The government often waits days before reports on such raids.
The last few weeks has seen a spike in violence in Kazakhstan that has been linked by some observers to the possible emergence of an Islamist-inspired terror campaign.
Authorities in the Central Asian nation, which has little tradition of radical Islamism, have played down the possibility, saying that the police murders and two recent bombings have been masterminded by organized crime groups.