Kazakhstan-China Border Incident Terrorist Attack, Nazarbayev Claims
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Friday that an incident at a mobile border checkpoint in southeastern Kazakhstan where 15 bodies have been found was a terrorist attack.
"I think it has been a terrorist attack. It has probably happened because of internal conflicts. But it is too early to speak about it. Soldiers' barracks and the officers' house were burnt, the bodies of the victims were found in the debris," Nazarbayev said, as cited by RIA Novosti.
A total of 15 bodies, including 14 soldiers and a hunter, have been found at a Kazakh border checkpoint where a fire allegedly broke out on Thursday.
The incident took place at a mobile border checkpoint in the Alakolsky district of the Almaty Region in south-eastern Kazakhstan, which borders on China. The checkpoint only operates in summer to prevent Chinese from collecting local herbs.
Some reports said the men had been murdered. Kazinform news agency said the soldiers' weapons were also found at the site.
Nazarbayev said he had been established a special commission to probe into the murder.
"The military prosecutor general's office has launched a criminal case. Experienced officials from the Interior Ministry, the National Security Committee and the Prosecutor General's Office are involved in the investigation."
Police are considering an attack on the border checkpoint or bullying as possible reasons for the incident. Some reports have said the weapons had been stolen from the dead border guards.
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