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Kazakh Police Say Killed Insurgents Were 'Involved In Other Crimes'

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh officials said today that the five armed men reported killed by police in southern Kazakhstan on December 3 had previously taken part in a number of other crimes, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The five militants and two members of the elite Kazakh police force Arystan (Lion) were killed in a special operation by security forces in the village of Boraldai near Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty, on December 3.

The five armed men were surrounded by security forces in a house in Boraldai and refused to surrender. The militants killed two security officers involved in the operation before all five of them were killed.

Almaty Oblast Interior Affairs Department (DVD) officials said today that two grenades, two AK-47 assault guns, and two Makarov pistols were found in the house where the insurgents had hidden.

They said one of the guns was used by the person who shot two police officers, Maqsat Dabylov and Ghalymzhan Abdirov, last month. They did not explain what other crimes the men had been involved in.

Three weeks ago an armed man in the southern Kazakh city of Taraz went on a shooting rampage, killing seven and blowing himself up. Authorities called him "a suspected Islamist."

Officials did not refer to the five men killed by security forces on December 3 as religious extremists or terrorists.

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