A journalist in western Kazakhstan has been stabbed and shot in an attack that his colleagues say may have been motivated by his reporting.

Raul Uporov, a photographer at Uralskaya Nedelya, said Friday that witnesses saw five people attacking Lukpan Akhmedyarov outside his home late at night.

Uporov says Akhmedyarov underwent a three-hour operation to treat at least eight deep wounds all over his body and that his condition is stable.

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the attack on Akhmedyarov, who writes critically about the Central Asian nation's authoritarian government, and demanded authorities bring the perpetrators to justice.

Assaults on reporters are not uncommon in the former Soviet country, but the attack on Akhmedyarov is unusually brutal.