Deadly attack on police in Kazakhstan

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By BBC

Several policemen have been killed by unknown gunmen in Kazakhstan’s commercial capital Almaty on Monday, officials say.

One suspect has been captured and another is still at large, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a police source as saying a “religious radical” was firing in the city centre.

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Oil-rich Kazakhstan has recently seen rare protests and violent acts by people angry at proposed land reforms.

Witnesses told Reuters news agency that they had heard shots in three different parts of Almaty, the mainly Muslim country’s biggest city.

The attacks targeted a police station and a national security service building, reports said.

Local media said at least seven police officers had been taken to hospital in critical condition.

The attack comes a month after a deadly attack in the northwestern town of Aktobe, when groups of men attacked gun stores and a military base, killing seven people. At least 18 attackers were killed by police during that attack and in the manhunt that followed.

Authorities blamed that incident on Islamist extremists.

Kazakhstan is wealthier than other post-Soviet central Asian states and has been ruled by President Nursultan Nazarbayev since 1989.

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