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ASTANA, June 14. /TASS/. Terrorists who carried out attacks in Kazakhstan’s western city of Aktobe on June 5 received instructions from Syria’s territory, Kazakh Interior Minister Kalmukhanbet Kasymov told reporters on Tuesday.
"When they all gathered in an apartment, they made an address from the so-called imam who said that there was the need to carry out a sacred jihad. Apparently from Syria, the investigation will prove," the minister said. Those alive out of 45 people who plotted the attacks said they listened to that address, he added.
Kasymov said former convicts were among the terrorists.
According to the minister, forty-five people planned to carry out terrorist attacks.
"There were 45 of them but when they declared jihad, 19 people refused to go. We have identified all of them and are currently questioning them," Kassymov said.
"Twenty-five (terrorists) entered the (weapons) shop," he added. "Another person refused to commit a crime and left," the interior minister noted adding that the main aim of criminals was to seized weapons and attack penitentiary and government institutions.
According to Kassymov, eight people have died in the attacks.
"Just recently, on June 5, we once again faced manifestations of religious extremism and terrorism in the city of Aktobe… Unfortunately, three National Guards and five civilians died in those events. Seven servicemen and 12 policemen were injured," Kassymov said. Security forces earlier reported that seven people were killed in the attack.
The minister added, law enforcement agencies in Aktobe have returned to the routine mode service, and the situation in the region stabilized.
"The situation stabilized, we lifted the ‘red’ level of danger and introduced the ‘yellow’ level (moderate). All institutions are working in the routine mode, the emergency mode has been lifted," Kassymov said. "All special forces units that were sent to the region have already returned to their positions," he noted.
On June 5, a group of Salafi followers carried out attacks at weapon shops and the National Guard’s military unit in Aktobe. Eight people died in the attack, including three servicemen, and dozens more were injured. Kazakhstan’s National Security Committee later reported that all attackers were neutralized and detained. According to the committee, nine people were detained and 18 others liquidated over the course of the special operation. Twenty-three weapons units stolen during the attacks were also seized.