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Islamist Group Claims Deadly Kazakhstan Violence

A militant Islamist group that has in the past threatened the Kazakh government is claiming its fighters were involved in a shoot-out with Kazakh security forces on December 3 near Almaty, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service and other agencies report.

Jund al-Khilafah (Soldiers of the Caliphate) posted a video on the Internet confirming five of the group's fighters were killed in the village of Boroldai when Kazakh security forces tried to detain them.

The group said its fighters killed two members of the Kazakh security forces and vowed it had "thousands [of supporters] ready to die."

Jund al-Khilafah has been posting messages threatening the Kazakh government since October, when Kazakhstan adopted a new, restrictive law on religion.

It was thought to have been responsible for one or more recent attacks in western Kazakhstan.

with agency reports

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