Charred bodies found near China border in Kazakhstan


At least 13 charred bodies have been found at a burnt-out border post near the boundary with China in Kazakhstan, officials said, adding 12 of the dead were border guards and three more personnel were missing.


Turganbek Stambekov, deputy chief of the border guard service, said 15 guards had been stationed at the post in southeast Kazakhstan. Stambekov gave no details about the three missing border guards.

"At present, the charred remains of 13 bodies have been found, including the body of a gamekeeper from a hunting reserve adjacent to the border post," he said.

The cause of the fire at the border post was not known nor is it clear whether the border guards died in the fire, or were killed beforehand. The dead guards' weapons were found at the scene.

Local media reports citing unidentified sources said the border post near Almaty in the Tian Shan mountain range was staffed during the summer months like every year to guard against the illegal gathering of rare medicinal plants that grow in the region.

The post also helps prevent people crossing illegally into Kazakhstan.

The former Soviet republic shares a 1,530-km border with China and exported goods worth more than $16 billion to its neighbour last year, more than 18 per cent of its total export revenues.

There is no post-Soviet history of violence at the border in the Central Asian nation.

Source: Kazakhstan News.Net