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Understanding the Threat of the Islamic State in Contemporary Kyrgyzstan


The Cambridge Companion to Religion and TerrorismChapter summary

On July 16, 2015, the usual routine of the day was disrupted by sounds of a fierce firefight and explosions on one of the central streets of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Being an unusual event for the country – in combination with a lack of explanatory details – triggered various speculations. Later that day, Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security (KSCNS) released an official statement on the incident. According to the statement, this had been an anti-terroristic attack against a local cell of the Islamic State (IS), who, it was said, were planning several terroristic attacks, including one against the Russian military base located not far from the capital, and another during the mass prayer at the end of Ramadan, which was to take place the next day. The two-hour long operation ended with four terrorists killed. Another two had been liquidated earlier at another location in the city, and seven more detained.

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