Accessibility links

Breaking News

Three Kazakhs Jailed For Spreading Terrorist Ideas Via WhatsApp

People carry a coffin with the body of Andrei Maksimenko, a salesman of the firearms shop that was a target of a recent suspected Islamist militant attack, in Aqtobe on June 8.

AQTOBE, Kazakhstan -- A Kazakh court has jailed three men for inciting social and religious hatred via their mobile phones.

A court in the northwestern city of Aqtobe found the men guilty on August 11 of "spreading terrorist ideas” using the WhatsApp application on their smartphones and sentenced them to prison terms between 6 1/2 and eight years.

The convicted men's lawyers said the verdicts will be appealed.

Aqtobe is an industrial city of some 380,000 people located 100 kilometers from the Russian border.

It made headlines in June after some 25 suspected Islamic radicals killed five civilians and three members of Kazakhstan's security forces in the city.

Security forces killed 18 gunmen and arrested seven alleged attackers.

Aqtobe also was the site of Kazakhstan's first-ever suicide bombing 2011.