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Kazakhstan Bans Islamic Group Takfir wal-Hijra

Kazakhstan has outlawed Takfir wal-Hijra (Excommunication and Exodus), a radical Islamic group that has already been banned in Russia and many Western countries.

The prosecutor-general's office said on October 15 the Sary-Arqa District Court in Astana ruled in August that Takfir wal-Hijra is an extremist organization and must be banned in Kazakhstan.

It said the court's ruling has taken effect, which means any involvement in the activity of Takfir wal-Hijra is now illegal.

Takfir wal-Hijra emerged in Egypt in the 1960s and is believed to have links with Al-Qaeda.

Security forces in Russia, which shares a long border with Kazakhstan, detained 14 suspected members of Takfir wal-Hijra last November.

The group has been banned in Russia, the European Union, the United States, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan, another mostly Muslim neighbor of Kazakhstan.

Based on reporting by Kazinform and Interfax