Kazakh Border Guards Arrested Over Mass Desertion
June 21, 2012
ASTANA -- Kazakhstan's military prosecutor's office has announced that three border guards, including an outpost commander, have been arrested on suspicion of beating conscripts.
The arrests, announced on June 21, come after 11 young conscripts this week deserted their outpost on the Kazakh-Chinese border in the northeastern Zaisan district.
After they were found, officials said the conscripts complained of mistreatment during hazing by superior officers.
The incident comes three weeks after 14 Kazakh border guards and a forest ranger were found dead, allegedly murdered by a fellow soldier, at another remote outpost bordering China in Kazakhstan's southeast.
The suspect in this case has stated in a televised confession that he was the victim of hazing at the hands of his colleagues.
With additional reporting by Interfax
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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