21 Feb 2020 15:31

Kazakh deserter who stole 30 rifles, 27 handguns detained in Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN. Feb 21 (Interfax) - A contract serviceman who deserted an air defense unit stationed near Shymkent in southern Kazakhstan and stole "a whole arsenal" of weapons has been detained in Almaty.

"The deserter armed to the teeth has been neutralized," the Kazakh Interior Ministry said in a statement on its website on Friday.

The serviceman who deserted his military unit "with a whole arsenal of firearms" was detained in Almaty, the statement said.

The ministry said on Thursday evening that the operation aimed at finding and capturing the deserter had come to a conclusion.

The Kazakh Defense Ministry said on February 20 that a junior sergeant, employed on the basis of a contract with an air defense unit stationed near Shymkent, deserted the unit while the on duty officer. "A certain quantity of firearms went missing" from the armory, it said.

The newspaper Vremya said with the reference to images from the official report that the contract serviceman of Military Unit 10216, "secretly took possession of the armory keys while on duty, turned off the alarm, and took 30 AK-74 rifles, twenty-seven 9 mm Makarov handguns, 420 Kalashnikov rifle shells, 48 Makarov handgun shells, and a non-lethal Makarov handgun from the premises of the military unit."