At least three policemen and one civilian were killed in street shootings in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty on Monday (July 18), security officials said.
One suspect was arrested, a man in his twenties said to be close to Salafism, an ultra-conservative school of Islam.
Authorities said the gunman attacked a police station and an office belonging to the Kazakh secret service, and also tried to hijack a car, killing its driver, before he was himself wounded by police.
It’s the second attack on security forces in as many months. It fans fears of a growing Islamist threat in this mainly Muslim central Asian nation.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s authoritarian leader since 1989, called Monday’s shootings a terrorist act. He convened an emergency cabinet meeting and ordered tighter security in public areas.
Last month, men said to be Islamic State sympathizers attacked gun stores and a military facility near the Russian border, killing seven people.