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.
Senior rebel negotiator Luis Jalandoni said that despite the government's ultimatum, the guerrillas' attacks would continue.
Sabzar Ahmed was close aide to separatist rebel Burhan Wani whose killing last July sparked uprising against Indian rule
Tehran blames Islamabad for sheltering a Sunni militant group which claims responsibility for attacks on Iran
Schapelle Corby was convicted and jailed for 20 years for trying to smuggle marijuana into the tourist island of Bali
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947 but both claim the territory in its entirety.
The Taliban have vowed to intensify attacks in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan
Deadly incident echoes deaths a week ago of 11 family members in roadside bomb blast
More than 7,000 people affected by bad weather, hundreds evacuated from southern districts
Cattle will only be sold in the open market for agricultural purposes, Environment Ministry says
Since troops recaptured Palmyra from the ISIL group in March, the UNESCO World Heritage site had been accessible via Syria's third city Homs, about 150 kilometres (95 miles) to the west.
The attack in Shah Wali Kot district late Thursday came just three days after 10 Afghan soldiers were killed when Taliban militants stormed another base in the same area.
School director, wife, daughter about to leave for Thailand when stopped at airport, official says
The centre-left president favours engagement with the North to bring it to the negotiating table, rather than the hardline stance taken by the conservative government of his ousted precedessor Park Geun-Hye.
The two Phnom Penh residents -- a man and a woman -- were arrested on Wednesday for at least ten cases of "kidney trafficking" over the past year, said Keo Thea, the city's chief of anti-human trafficking police.
Protesters wanted the statue of the robe-clad, blindfolded woman holding scales, said to represent justice, destroyed and replaced with a Koran, despite Bangladesh's secular constitution.
Teacher Muhammed Furkan Sokmen, his wife and their two-year-old daughter were stopped at Yangon airport on Wednesday evening as they tried to board a plane to Bangkok.