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Kyrgyz Security Forces Kill Four Alleged Terrorists, Detain Five

  • RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service

Kyrgyz security forces at the site of the shoot-out in Bishkek that killed four

Kyrgyz security forces at the site of the shoot-out in Bishkek that killed four

BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz security forces have killed six alleged terrorists and detained five others in two separate clashes in Kyrgyzstan's capital on July 16.

Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security (UKMK) said the operation took place on July 16.

It said those killed or detained are members of an unspecified international terrorist group.

Troops from the Alpha special-police brigade stormed a private home in Bishkek's southern district, authorities said, and the suspects opened fire after refusing to surrender.

Four officers were wounded in the operation, which reportedly lasted about an hour.

No civilian casualties were reported.

Two firefighter brigades were working at the site to extinguish a fire that broke out during the operation.

There were reports of at least 20 explosions during the incident, possibly of grenades.

Witnesses also claimed to have heard cries of "Allah Akbar," Arabic for "God is great."

National Security Committee spokesman Rakhat Sulaimanov said the gunmen were "preparing a terrorist attack."

Reuters reports that according to the police two more attackers were killed at around the same time in the suburbs.

Such operations are rare in Kyrgyzstan, but Kyrgyz officials have recently expressed concerns over the increasing number of Kyrgyz nationals joining Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq.

Several men and women in Kyrgyzstan have been arrested for recruiting on behalf of the brutal militant group Islamic State (IS), which has tried to spread its influence outside the swaths of Syria and Iraq that it controls.

Dozens of alleged members of banned Islamic groups have been arrested across Kyrgyzstan in recent years.

The special operation in Bishkek was conducted one day before the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Mass prayers are expected to be held on July 17 in Bishkek and Kyrgyzstan's other cities to mark the holiday.

With reporting by KyrTAG