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Eight Jailed On Terrorism Charges In Troubled West Kazakhstan

  • RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

ORAL, Kazakhstan -- A court in Kazakhstan's western city of Oral has sentenced eight local men for organizing and participating in a terrorist organization.

The eight men were sentenced to prison terms varying between six and nine years.

The defendants were found guilty of "propagating terrorism with the goal to overthrow the country's constitutional structure."

The trial follows a number of incidents in Kazakhstan's western regions in recent months involving alleged religious extremists.

In May 2011, a resident of the northwestern city of Aqtobe carried out what was described as the first-ever suicide bombing in Kazakhstan, blowing himself up in the entrance to the National Security Committee's local branch and injuring three men.

Investigators said the bomber was a member of an extremist Islamic group.

With reporting by 'Uralskaya nedelya'

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