Kazakhstan is put on high alert after shocking terrorist attacks in the city of Aktobe on June 5. A group of young men in Aktobe robbed the gun store in the city center and terrorized the whole city.
Gunfire started when the police came and it lasted almost entire daytime. People were warned to stay at home until all the terrorists are eliminated. According to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, 12 terrorists are killed during the counter terrorist operation and 6-7 people are still wanted. The latest sources say that 21 civilians are killed and 38 people are injured by the terrorists.
The government’s response was immediate and the yellow security alert was launched at the entire territory of Kazakstan, which means that there is a medium danger of terrorism. The police and military are patrolling all the cities including the capital Astana. The president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev is said to be personally controlling the situation.
According to the preliminary data, the gunmen are Islamic extremists who wish to overthrow the government and establish a khalifa. Several of them had long beards and were wearing short pants which gives reason to guess that they are the followers of Salafism. The Salafis in Kazakhstan divide in two branches: Madhali (the moderate ones) and Takfir. The Madhali branch supports the regime of Nazarbayev and thus are relatively tolerated in Kazakhstan. In contrast, the Takfir branch supports aggressive overthrow of the “infidel regime” of Nazarbayev. However, the leading Islamic experts and imams of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims in Kazakhstan are skeptic about dividing Salafism into moderate and aggressive because the differences between them are blurred and it is very easy to turn from moderate to aggressive.
These attacks are the continuation of the beginning instability in Kazakhstan which was started by land protests in late April. The government seems to have neglected the danger from Islamic fundamentalists while dealing with civil protesters. As a result of this, now, Kazakhstani government has two camps of opposition: the liberal pro-western and Islamic fundamentalists. It is for the government of Kazakhstan to choose with whom to fight.
by ArmedPolitics Newsdesk