A military aircraft carrying 27 people including top members of the Kazakhstan border guard service crashed on Tuesday in the south of the country with many fatalities feared, officials said.
The KNB security service said the An-72 military transport aircraft was carrying seven crew and 20 servicemen, including the acting head of the Kazakh border service Turganbek Stambekov.
The plane crashed 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Shymkent airport where it had been due to land after a flight from the capital Astana.
A security source told the Interfax news agency that all those on board were killed but this was not confirmed in the KNB statement.
"The emergency services are working at the scene of the incident. An investigation is in progress," the KNB said, without giving more details.
The security source quoted by Interfax said that according to initial information there were no survivors.