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AQTOBE, Kazakhstan -- Five men in Kazakhstan have been sentenced on terrorism charges to jail terms varying from five to 13 years in the northwestern city of Aqtobe.

The men were found guilty on February 21 of creating an illegal armed group and of organizing and conducting a bombing in Aqtobe's suburbs in July 2011 which killed two suspects and one policeman.

In a separate incident in May 2011, a resident in Aqtobe carried out what was described as the first ever suicide bombing in Kazakhstan, blowing himself up at the entrance to the National Security Committee's local branch and injuring three men.

Investigators said the bomber was a member of an extremist Islamic group.
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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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