Kazakhstan's newly created Ministry of Religious Issues and Civil Society says it is taking steps to ban the Salafi branch of Islam in the country.
Minister Nurlan Ermekbaev said on October 14 in Astana that Salafism "poses a destructive threat to Kazakhstan" and his ministry was working on steps to legally ban it.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has said that a series of deadly attacks in June in the northwestern city of Aqtobe were carried out by Salafists.
The Salafi branch of Islam has been branded as extremist and banned in some former Soviet republics.
Salafists follow a strict form of Sunni Islam and do not recognize other branches of Islam, such as Shi'ism and Sufism.
The majority of Muslims in Central Asia are followers of Hanafi, a more moderate branch of Sunni Islam.