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AKIPRESS.COM - The Aktobe Region criminal court has sentenced seven Kazakh nationals over planning to carry out terrorist acts in Russia, the court's press service said Friday.
The court sentenced the group's leader and one associate to nine years in prison. Another member of the terrorist cell received a six-year sentence and four more minors received eight- and six-year sentences, Sputnik reports.
A group member "was supporting radical views of foreign religious extremist preachers and decided to create a terrorist group for armed jihad against security services in Russia and against Russian citizens," the court said.
The indicted individual gathered a number of supporters, including minors, at a rented accommodation in August 2016, calling for armed jihad and laying out the terrorist cell's aims, the statement added, noting that group members had been recruited at a school in the city of Aktobe.
The terrorists were planning to carry out terrorist acts in crowded places, including nightclubs and shopping centers. Kazakhstan has been on a "yellow" level terrorist alert since terrorist attacks took place in Aktobe in mid-2016.
On June 5, unidentified armed assailants attacked two gun shops and a military unit in Aktobe. In response, the country's authorities announced an anti-terrorism operation. The incident left 25 people killed, including 18 terrorists, who were said to be radical followers of salafist religious movements.