Kazakh soldier detained after mass border deaths

June 5, 2012 - 8:27 AM

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) — Kazakhstan's interior minister says a border guard who went missing after the death of 14 fellow soldiers at a remote frontier outpost last week has been detained and is being questioned.

Interior Minister Kalmukhanbet Kasymov said Tuesday that the man was found in possession of the platoon commander's weapon.

The charred bodies of 15 people — 14 border guards and a park ranger — were found at a burned-out frontier station near the border with China. While the exact circumstances that led to the deaths are still unclear, Kasymov hinted the deaths might have been the result of an internal dispute.

On Friday, President Nursultan Nazarbayev described the soldiers' deaths as the outcome of a "terrorist act," but gave no specific details.

Kazakhstan is marking a national day of mourning.