Kazakhstan clash killed five peoples, two policemen

Kazakhastan - Independent Maghreb Press Agency - Five militants and two members of an elite police force were killed in operations in southern Kazakhstan, prosecutors said Sunday, amid concerns about rising unrest in the Central Asian state.

The clash took place during a special operation against suspected militants in a village just outside Kazakhstan's largest city and former capital of Almaty, where prosecutors said they had been planning attacks.

The spokesman for general prosecutors Nurdaulet Suindikov said the militants hid in a house in the village of Boraldai but then they were surrounded by the security forces as residents were evacuated for their own safety.

He said that grenades, two Kalashnikov machine guns and a Makarov pistol had been found in the house.

The clash came three weeks after seven people were killed in the southern Kazakh city of Taraz when a suspected Islamist went on a shooting rampage and then blew himself up.

A group called Jund al-Khilafah (Soldiers of the Caliphate) had claimed previous more minor unrest, and Kazakh prosecutors said in November its members wanted to "unleash jihad on the territory of Kazakhstan".

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