World Bulletin/News Desk
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on Friday he believed a "terrorist act" caused the deaths of 14 border guards and a civilian at a border post at the frontier with China.
A senior border guard official said on Thursday the charred bodies of at least 12 Kazakh border guards and a local gamekeeper had been discovered at a torched post in southeastern Kazakhstan. The border guard service said on Friday that two more border guards had been found dead at the post.
"I consider this a terrorist act," Nazarbayev's official site www.akorda.kz quoted him as saying during a meeting with the heads of Kazakh security bodies.
He did not elaborate on who he thought might be responsible, or why he said it was a terrorist act.
"A soldiers' barrack and an officers' house were burnt down; the dead bodies were recovered when the debris was cleared. When such incidents occur in peaceful times, this demands the most thorough investigation," Nazarbayev said.
Fifteen guards are officially said to have been stationed at the post. The fate of the one missing serviceman is unknown.
"Central and local security bodies are doing whatever is needed to clarify all the circumstances of this case and detain the suspected criminals," Nazarbayev said.
Kazakhstan, a predominantly Muslim ex-Soviet nation of 16.7 million, shares a 1,530-km (960-mile) border with China, with which it has developed warm relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Last year Kazakhstan exported goods worth more than $16 billion to its neighbour last year, more than 18 percent of its total export revenues.
Nazarbayev is expected to visit China next week to take part in the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional security body which also includes Russia and ex-Soviet Central Asian neighbours Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
There has been no post-Soviet history of violence at the border since Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991, and the last time there were any major clashes on the frontier was in August 1969 when there was a brief but fierce clash between Soviet and Chinese troops.
Local news agencies said that the border post was reinforced during the summer months to guard mainly against the illegal gathering of rare medicinal plants that grow in the region.
Last Monday, May 28, was the annual Soviet-era holiday for border guards, an event still celebrated in former Soviet countries. The bodies were discovered on May 30.
Berlin has announced it will send military supplies that will arm more than 4,000 Kurdish troops.
Before his disappearance, activist and lawyer Mudar Hassan Khadur represented a rare but growing voice of public dissent among Alawites
The group was being held at a centre for illegal immigrants near the capital Skopje and that Macedonia plans to repatriate the immigrants to Greece.
If Ukraine scrapped its non-alliance status after the Oct. 26 vote, NATO would discuss with Kiev "how to move forward", Rasmussen said
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the government would not hesitate to enforce its writ and was considering cracking down against those attacking state institutions.
The government will seek to bring all abductees back regardless of whether they have been officially recognised as abducted
Negotiators hope a deal can draw a line under the decades of hostilities and instability in the desert north of the West African nation.
Protests descended into deadly chaos over the weekend, with demonstrators clashing with police in a central area near many government buildings and embassies
Mohammad Mohaqeq, one of Abdullah's vice presidential running mates, told Reuters the two sides could not agree on the powers of the chief executive, blaming the Ghani camp for hardening its position
Israel announced the appropriation of land in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem, a move which an anti-settlement group said was the biggest such claim in 30 years
Miguel Vasquez, a spokesman for the Mayan elders, defended their decision, saying "the constitution protects us because we need to conserve and preserve our culture."
Voters in Scotland will decide on Sept. 18 whether they want to form an independent state with opinion polls showing Scots are likely to vote to keep their 307-union with England intact.
Iceland cut the level back to orange - the next highest level - saying the eruption was not creating ash.
He said Russian involvement had radically changed the balance on the battlefield against Kiev in its fight against pro-Russian separatists
The move came as the government said it had lost control of most ministries and state institutions located in Tripoli after rival armed groups took over the capital
Powers will include a temporary ban on those suspected of fighting in Syria and Iraq returning to the UK.