On July 16, the government of Kyrgyzstan reported that security forces had killed several militants in two separate raids conducted in Bishkek and a town just outside of the capital called Lebedinovka. According to Bruce Pannier of RFE/RL, when raided by forces under the command of Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security (UKMK), the militants engaged the government security personnel, resulting in a shootout which led to the deaths of four alleged militants in Bishkek and at least two in Lebedinovka:

Four militants were reported killed in Bishkek and at least two in Lebedinovka, although some Kyrgyz media sources report four were killed in Lebedinovka. Seven militants were said to have been captured. Four members of the security force were wounded in the battles. (Bruce Pannier, RFE/RL, July 17, 2015)

Media in Kyrgyzstan almost immediately began attributing the militants to the Islamic State (ISIS), a group that has thus far not presented an outsized threat to Kyrgyzstan itself. The rise of ISIS and the heightened profile the group has garnered internationally since their successful surge into Iraq from Syria in June 2014 has presented two threats to Central Asia in particular. While recruitment is often reported as particularly high in Central Asia (especially in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan), the numbers cited often by those studying the ranks of ISIS in Syria have been disputed by many Central Asia experts.

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