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Murder Sparks Ethnic Tension In Southern Kazakhstan

BESAGHASH, Kazakhstan -- The rape and murder late last month of a young girl in Kazakhstan's Almaty Oblast has given rise to interethnic tension, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

But authorities in Besaghash told journalists on March 11 that they had managed to establish a dialogue between leaders of the local Kazakh and Kurdish communities.

Dozens of residents of the village of Besaghash in Almaty Oblast's Talghar district staged a protest late on March 10 demanding the expulsion from the village of the family of the murder suspect, a man of Kurdish origin.

Some protesters tried to set fire to the house of the suspect's family, but local police managed to thwart the arson attack and took the family under protection.

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