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2 Kazakhs Killed in Russian Anti-Terror Operation

Screenshot / Russian FSB

Kazakhstan on Saturday confirmed the deaths of two of its citizens in an anti-terrorism operation in Russia that Moscow claims prevented an attack against a synagogue in the Russian capital.

Russia's FSB security service on Thursday confirmed an operation against a suspected branch of the Islamic State (IS) militant group had taken place in the Kaluga region southwest of Moscow.

Russian media had claimed that two suspects of Kazakh origin who arrived in Russia in February were killed in the operation.

"The Kazakh citizenship and arrival in Russia by these two people is confirmed," said the Kazakh National Security Committee (KNB) in a statement released on Saturday.

The KNB said that authorities in the former Soviet republic had opened an investigation in "close" collaboration with the FSB.

The FSB on Thursday claimed to have put an end to the activities of a cell of the Islamic State-Khorasan Province branch that is mostly active in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow on Thursday had advised its citizens to avoid large groupings in the Russian capital for 48 hours, warning that "extremists" were imminently planning something with the Russian presidential election just days away.

Russian authorities announced last Sunday that they had killed six suspected IS militants in the Caucasus republic of Ingushetia.

IS has limited influence in Russia despite several attacks in recent years, particularly in the Muslim-majority republics in the North Caucasus: Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan.

Close to 4,500 Russians, mostly from the North Caucasus, have fought alongside IS, according to official figures.

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