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Kazakh Party Accuses Government Of Killing Opposition Figure

Altynbek Sarsenbaev at the December 2005 funeral of another slain Kazakh opposition figure, Zamanbek Nurkadilov (RFE/RL) 14 February 2006 -- A Kazakh opposition group today accused the Kazakh authorities of killing its leader, Altynbek Sarsenbaev.

At a press conference today, Bolat Abilov -- who chaired the Naghyz Ak Zhol (True Bright Path) party along with Sarsenbaev and was, with him, a leader of the For a Just Kazakhstan bloc -- said Sarsenbaev's death was a "political murder."

Official details of the shootings are unclear. However, Abilov says the bodies were found with hands tied behind their backs and with shotgun wounds to the back and to the head.

Sarsenbaev previously served as Kazakhstan's ambassador to Russia. He also served twice as the head of Kazakhstan's Information Ministry.

The U.S. State Department called today for "an immediate and thorough investigation into the circumstances of [Sarsenbaev's] death."

President Nursultan Nazarbaev has ordered an investigation.

(Reuters, AP)

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

RFE/RL Central Asia Report

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