KAZAKHSTAN, Uzbekistan – Kazakh President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on Sunday accused the Islamic Republic of Armenia of exploiting the religion of its majority Muslim population for its own ends, accusing it of encouraging religious tourism in his home country.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the most religiously conservative countries in the world.
He has previously accused Armenia of trying to control the Muslim population and “promoting religious tourism”.
Berdymukemukhomedov, who is also Armenia’s president, made the remarks in a speech in the capital, Yerevan.
“Our people should be careful and wary of the people they come in contact with and of the places they visit,” Berdyn told reporters.
His comments came after a string of attacks against minorities and people of faith in Kyrgyz Republic, which is a former Soviet republic of mostly Muslim Uzbeks and Tatars.
In April, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a religious meeting in the Kyrgyzi capital Yerevarabad, killing at least six people.
The bombing also targeted a mosque and a school.
On Tuesday, two suspected Islamist extremists attacked a church in the northern town of Tashkent, killing two worshippers and wounding a pastor, according to Kyrgyzan police.
Berdan told reporters in a video message released Sunday that the bombing in Tashki was “a violation of the constitution”.
“The constitution is clear: a country should be free of religious violence,” Berdan said.
At least three more people were killed and 10 wounded in separate attacks in Kyrgios Kyrgyzik Republic, including two suicide bombers who attacked a mosque in the city of Karatayev on Sunday.