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A court in Kazakhstan's western city of Atyrau has sentenced nine local men to prison terms of between six and 23 years for their involvement in terrorist activities.

The youngest of the convicted men is 17; the oldest is 33 years old.

They were found guilty on October 10 of being members of a group propagating the Salafi version of Islam, which is banned in Kazakhstan.

They were also found guilty of issuing public calls for terrorism and the creation of a terrorist group.

Atyrau and other cities and towns in western Kazakhstan have made headlines in recent months following security operations in the region targeting Islamic extremists and terrorists.

Last fall, security forces and police killed nine suspected militants in two separate operations in Atyrau and the nearby town of Kulsary.

Based on reporting by KazTAG and Interfax