Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change
Казахстан перед лицом террористической угрозы
A spate of shootings by a suspected Islamic militant in the southern Kazak city of Taraz has prompted a discussion about how the authorities should react.
The attacker killed seven people and blew himself up on November 12. It was the latest in the series of presumed acts of terrorism that have taken place in Kazakstan since May.
At the end of last month, a 24-year-old man blew himself up and a second blast took place in a rubbish container hit the western city of Atyrau. There was a suicide bombing in May in the western oil town of Aktobe, followed by an unexplained car explosion in Astana a week later.
According to political analyst Dos Koshim, the Taraz shootings seem to have involved a loner. At the same time, he said, a string of apparently unrelated incidents add up to one undeniable truth – terrorism is a threat in Kazakstan.
Koshim said these cases also showed that the police were not able to cope, in part because of low general standards and in part because they lacked specific counter-terrorism skills.
Political analyst Rasyl Jumaly believes that current policies – jailing suspected radical Islamists and passing a new law designed to curb religious extremism – are inadequate. Instead, the authorities should make it a priority to tackle social problems such as lack of opportunity and injustice that may drive young people to turn to terrorism.
This audio programme, in Kazak, went out on Radio Azattyk, the Kazak service of RFE/RL, as part of IWPR project work funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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