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Kazakh Security Agency Seeks Ban On Two 'Terror' Groups

(RFE/RL) 15 September 2006 -- A senior Kazakh security official has said the National Security Committee (KNB) has asked that two more groups be added to the country's list of banned terrorist groups.

Askar Amerkhanov, the deputy chief of staff of Kazakhstan's counterterrorism center, said that the KNB has sent a request to that effect to the Prosecutor-General's Office and that the Supreme Court could ban the two groups by the end of the year.

Amerkhanov said that one of the two organizations is Japan's Aum Shinrikyo religious sect. He did not identify the second one, saying only that it is a "regional grouping."

Amerkhanov said the National Security Committee prevented the creation of an Aum Shinrikyo cell in the city of Qizilorda.

Aum Shinrikyo - also known as Aleph -- is a Buddhist sect that gained international notoriety in 1995, when it carried out poison gas attacks in the Tokyo subway that left 12 dead and 5,500 wounded.

The sect's leader, Shoko Asahara, today lost his final appeal against his death sentence.

(Kazakhstan Today,