ASTANA – The border police killed a man who was trying to smuggle horses into Kazakhstan from Kyrgyzstan, the agency said on Monday.
The man was identified as Kazakh national Erkin Amirtaev, who was detected last Saturday, together with 20 other people, by border guards while bringing horses from the neighboring country near Zhasorken, between southern Kazakhstan and northwest Kyrgyzstan.
The suspected traffickers threw stones and wounded officers, the agency said in a statement.
The Kazakh guards first fired into the air and then at the smugglers, killing one.
The rest of the group gathered the wounded and fled into Zhambyl, a region in southwestern Kazakhstan.
“The search and identification of the attackers is ongoing,” the agency said.
The Chief Military Prosecutor’s Office has started a pre-trial investigation of the incident to determine if the group used violence against authorities and whether border guards used excessive force.
Horse theft is a common offense in Kazakhstan since the animals’ meat is used in traditional dishes.