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Kazakh Guards Found Dead Along Chinese Border

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ASTANA -- Officials say 12 Kazakh border guards and a forest ranger have been found dead at a Kazakh checkpoint that was set ablaze along the Kazakh-Chinese border.

A spokeswoman for the border guards service at the Kazakh National Security Committee, Larisa Dmitryuk, told journalists that investigators, led by high-ranking security officials, have found the weapons of the dead border guards, as well.

Earlier reports said the weapons were missing from the site.

Officials say 15 border guards were supposed to be at the checkpoint, while only 12 of them were found dead.

The whereabouts of the remaining three are unknown.

Kazakhstan sets up checkpoints along the Chinese border each summer to prevent the illegal harvesting of herbs by Chinese citizens on Kazakh territory.

With additional reporting by Interfax and Tengrinews
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