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Kazakhstan: Premier Says Assassins Sought Nazarbaev

Astana, 20 November 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakh Prime Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev today said that at least two assassination attempts against President Nursultan Nazarbaev had been prepared in the last two months by what he called "unknown groups."

In an official statement, Toqaev also said the government should be replaced. He did not give additional details about the assassination attempts.

Toqaev specifically urged Nazarbaev to dismiss Deputy Prime Minister Oraz Zhandosov, Labor Minister Alikhan Baimenov, Deputy Defense Minister Zhanat Ertilesova, and the governor of Pavlodar Oblast, Ghalymzhan Zhaqiyanov. He said he will resign if these people are not sacked.

All four officials are among the founders of a newly established political movement called Democratic Choice.