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ASTANA -- The independent Kazakh media-rights organization Adil Soz says an opposition Kazakh journalist has been severely beaten by unknown assailants in Astana.

The group said Ularbek Baitailaq was attacked near his house early on August 8.

It said Baitailaq sustained severe injuries and was currently being treated in a hospital.

Baitailaq, who is a Kazakh National Archive employee, has contributed articles to the opposition "Dat" weekly, the "Chetvyortaya vlast" newspaper, and the "Altyn Tamyr" magazine.

The city police department has so far been unavailable for comment.

Opposition and independent journalists are often targeted by unknown attackers in Kazakhstan.

Four months ago, Lukpan Akhmedyarov, a journalist in the western city of Oral, survived an attack by unknown assailants who stabbed him and shot him with a pneumatic pistol.

With reporting by Interfax