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Kazakhstan Denies Arming Somali Islamists

(RFE/RL) August 7, 2006 -- Kazakhstan today denied delivering weapons to Somali Islamic militants in Mogadishu.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ilyas Omarov said Kazakh authorities have no knowledge of any such deliveries.

He said Astana abides by all of its international obligations, including those implied by UN resolutions banning arms deliveries to the war-torn African nation.

Government officials in Somalia last month claimed that two Ilyushin-76 cargo planes bearing Kazakh identification marks had landed at Mogadishu from Eritrea with cargoes of weapons of unknown origin.

Both Eritrea and the Somali Islamists who control Mogadishu have denied the reports.

("Kazakhstan Today," Interfax-Kazakhstan)

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