Police in the Kazakh city have launched an investigation into a suspected arson attack which has gutted the Syrian consulate there.
Reports from Radio Free Europe, Xinhuanet and RT state the consulate was attacked with Molotov cocktails. Syrian diplomats believe the attack was planned and intended to strike their consulate.
The KTK TV station in Kazakhstan reported that "the second and third floors of this country's one and only diplomatic mission in Kazakhstan were completely destroyed."
That floor was home to important diplomatic documents as well as the Syrian honorary consul to Kazakhstan. The fire also engulfed guest rooms and a meeting hall.
Syrian diplomats there are quoted as blaming the attack on "radical religious organizations," who they claim will "resort to anything."
This is seen by many as a sign that the intensifying violence in Syria may be going beyond its borders. This brings on fear that other Syrian government associated organizations and institutions around the world may be targeted in such a manner by opposition groups.
The Syrian Honorary Consul to Kazakhstan Samir al-Dara told KTK that the attackers "set fire to a house today and they could kill someone tomorrow." He added that he "cannot live here [Kazakhstan] any longer," clearly fearing for his safety.