Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev says he believes a terrorist act caused the deaths of 14 border guards and a civilian at a border post on the frontier with China.
Officials say the bodies of at least 12 Kazakh border guards and a local gamekeeper had been discovered at a burned out post in southeastern Kazakhstan.
Two more border guards were later found dead at the border post.
Mr Nazarbayev told a meeting with Kazakh security chiefs he considered it terrorism but did not elaborate on who he thought might be responsible or why he said it was a terrorist act.
There has been no post-Soviet history of violence at the border since Kazakhstan gained independence in 1991.