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Teacher Arrested After Deadly Kazakh School Blast


Police stand at the entrance to the Almaty Fashion Design College following the blast.

A teacher has been arrested after a grenade exploded during a basic military skills class at a fashion-design school in Kazakhstan, killing a 16-year-old girl.

Several other students at the Fashion Design College remained hospitalized a day after the blast on November 17 in Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city.

City police said on November 18 that a 47-year-old teacher of the military skills class was being held in a pretrial detention center.

The teacher, whose name was not made public, faces charges of manslaughter and illegal use of explosives.

In a echo of the Soviet era, students in Kazakhstan and some other former Soviet republics attend classes in which they learn military skills, such as the use of assault rifles and grenades.

The weapons and explosive devices are usually unarmed and harmless.

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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."

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