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Suspected Religious Extremists Arrested In Northwest Kazakhstan

ORAL, Kazakhstan -- The Kazakh Prosecutor-General's Office has announced that a group of suspected religious extremists has been arrested in the northwestern city of Oral.

A court in Oral this week approved the pretrial detention for two months of the six suspects who were arrested on February 4.

Officials in Oral say explosives and extremist literature were found in the suspects' apartments.

The arrests follow a number of incidents in Kazakhstan's western regions and one in the south last year involving alleged religious extremists.

In May, a resident of the northwestern city of Aqtobe carried out what was described as the first-ever suicide bombing in Kazakhstan, blowing himself up in the entrance to the National Security Committee's local branch and injuring three people.

Investigators said the bomber was a member of an extremist Islamic group.
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