VIDEO: Nine militants killed near main Kazakh city: police 17 августа 2012, 14:29
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Security forces had raided the village of Tan. Photo by Michail Altuyev©
Video courtesy of Mikhail Altuyev©
Kazakh police on Friday reported killing nine militants just outside the financial centre Almaty in the latest surge of violence to hit the oil-rich and once stable Central Asian state, AFP reports.
The general prosecutor's office said security forces had raided the village of Tan about 15 kilometres (10 miles) southwest of Kazakhstan's biggest city after receiving reports that it was home to suspects in an earlier blast.
"The number of terrorists killed has reached nine," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
The ex-Soviet nation had been seen as a prosperous island of stability in a volatile region that is rich in resources but home to increasingly powerful insurgency movements with links to Afghan-based militants.
The prosecutor's office statement said police were looking for a group of men who staged a July 11 blast in the region -- not reported previously -- "that led to the death of people".
The government last reported fighting gunmen on July 30 in an exchange sparked by a fatal attack on an Almaty police post.
Police reported killing six assailants while losing one of their own men.