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Violent attacks in Kazakh park kill 11

15 august 2012, 13:34
0
le-Alatau national park in Almaty oblast. Photo courtesy of visitkazakhstan.kz
le-Alatau national park in Almaty oblast. Photo courtesy of visitkazakhstan.kz
Photo courtesy of deviantart.com
Photo courtesy of deviantart.com
Police in Kazakhstan said Tuesday they had discovered the charred and stabbed remains of 11 bodies scattered over large stretches of a remote park popular with international climbers and hikers, AFP reports.

AFP reports that police said a European man was among the victims found Monday and Tuesday at Ile-Alatau State National Park -- a vast area covered by snow-peaked mountains and forests near the Central Asian country's border with ex-Soviet Kyrgyzstan.

However the report about the 'European' is most likely a mistranslation, Tengrinews.kz reports. The local police described the victim as "a person of European appearance", the term widely used at the post soviet space to describe a person of Slavic appearance, in the other words, an ethnic Russian citizen of Kazakhstan.

"We have found 11 bodies thus far," regional police spokesman Nurakhmet Kobei told AFP.

Police said no arrests had been made but that they were studying several leads in the case.

The incident occurred just two months after a Kazakh border guard confessed to killing 14 of his fellow servicemen at a remote frontier post near the border with China.

Both locations are part of a wild mountain range that stretches across several former Soviet countries and is part of territory that has seen growing lawlessness and Islamist insurgency in recent years.

Police said victims in the latest attack were discovered dozens of kilometers apart over a 24-hour period, and did not rule out the possibility of finding more as the search continued.

Kobei said the first four bodies were discovered on Monday in the house and yard of the forest park's warden.

A police statement later said all four -- including the warden -- had been stabbed to death.

Another police official said the same park keeper's missing son was being treated as a suspect in the attack.

More bodies were discovered later Monday and Tuesday about 25 kilometres (15 miles) away in the charred remains of the house of a neighboring park warden.

The police statement said forest rangers had separately discovered the body of a man from a European country. (Most likely this reports is a result of a mistranslation from Russian into English. The police mean a European looking person, i.e. an ethnic Russian. All the rest must be Asian looking.)

Police said there were at least two women among the six victims they had already identified.

Ile-Alatau State National Park has been named by UN cultural body UNESCO as a possible candidate to be listed as a World Heritage site.

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