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Fire Hits Kazakh National Park, Scene Of Suspected Mass Murder

Ile-Alatau National Park was the scene of a mass killing last month whose victims included park ranger Panayot Zakharopulo (left).
In Kazakhstan, some 300 children have been evacuated from a summer camp after a fire broke out at the Ile-Alatau National Park near the city of Almaty.

Fire officials said helicopters had been deployed in effort to extinguish the blaze, which had spread across 18 hectares.

No casualties have been reported.

Last week in the same area, officials found the bodies of 11 men and women who had been stabbed to death, with five of them burned beyond recognition.

The victims included the park's senior forest ranger, Panayot Zakharopulo, 76, his relatives and fellow forest rangers.

Officials announced on August 22 that the burned remains of a 12th possible victim of the suspected mass murder had been found in the ruins of a burned down house.

Investigations into the deaths are under way.

Based on reporting by KazTAG and Kazinform