A court in Kazakhstan's western city of Oral has sentenced three local residents to 3 1/2 years each on charges of attempting to join Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq.
The West Kazakhstan regional prosecutor's office said on April 16 that the men were found guilty of trying to illegally cross the border from Kazakhstan into Russia and planning to participate in Islamic militant operations abroad.
The men, whose identities were not disclosed, were detained by Kazakh border guards in November 2014.
The announcement by prosecutor's office in Oral comes a day after a court in Kazakhstan’s another western city, Atyrau, sentenced two teenagers to five years in prison on charges of promoting terrorism and trying to join IS militants.
Officials in Kazakhstan and other mostly Muslim former Soviet republics in Central Asia have expressed mounting concern about citizens fighting alongside IS and other militants in Syria and Iraq.
The International Crisis Group recently estimated that 2,000 to 4,000 residents of Central Asia have traveled to Syria during the last three years to join militants.