TARAZ, Kazakhstan -- The killing of a 5-year Kazakh boy has triggered ethnic tensions in Kazakhstan's southern region of Zhambyl.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in the village of Buryl on February 17, demanding that the whole family of the alleged killer -- a local Meskhetian Turk -- leave the community and the immediate release of several Kazakh men who were detained on hooliganism charges on February 16 after they tried to attack Meskhetian Turks' houses.
The police presence has been increased in the village, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.
The regional police department said the victim, identified as A.S. Duisenbek, was found dead with marks of violence in his parents' house on February 15.
A local resident identified as D.M. Kavazolgy was arrested on February 16.
Police said he confessed to the killing, saying he entered the house with the intention to steal some items and killed the boy to get rid of a witness.
A leader of local Meskhetian Turks, Dunyadar Abdullaev, said his community wants "the killer to receive the maximum punishment."
Some 30 percent of the 12,000 residents of the village are Meskhetian Turks.