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Kazakhstan: Security Chief Concerned By Uighur Unrest

Almaty, 25 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - The head of Kazakhstan's Security Council said today he is concerned about events across the border in China's northwest province of Xinjiang.

Beksultan Sarsekov told a news conference in Almaty however that Kazakhstan had nothing to do with any separatists' movements in China. He also said that there were no organizations or centers connected to Uighur nationalists in Kazakhstan.

Last month anti-Chinese riots in Xinjiang left nine people dead and dozens injured. Beijing has blamed Uighur separatists for the riots. Kazakhstan, which has a long border with China's Xinjiang porvince, is home to around 200,000 Uighurs.

Yesterday representatives of ethnic Uighurs from the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan met in Almaty in an effort to create an exiled separatist Uighur movement. No decision was taken on where the movement, to be set up by autumn, would be based.