Kazakhs hit back at comic Borat

Gleaming hotels and the region's best pastrami sandwiches, cash machines and the planet's largest population of wolves: these are among things Kazakhs want the world to know about their country - not the outrageous antics of comedy sensation Borat.

Gleaming hotels and the region's best pastrami sandwiches, cash machines and the planet's largest population of wolves: these are among things Kazakhs want the world to know about their country - not the outrageous antics of comedy sensation Borat.

Kazakhstan has placed advertisements in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune to spread the word about the misunderstood ex-Soviet country.

The move came as the creator of the fictional Kazakh reporter - British comic Sacha Baron Cohen - was launching a full-length movie based on the character.

The homophobic, misogynistic, English-mangling Borat - who has presented Kazakhs as addicted to horse urine, fond of shooting dogs, and viewing rape and incest as respectable hobbies - has mortified the government of the Central Asian nation.

In its ad, the country is touting its cash machines, sushi bars, and hi-tech conference centres - all products of its oil wealth.

Borat hit back, saying: "I would like to comment on recent advertisements about my nation of Kazakhstan, saying that women are treated equally, and that all religions are tolerated - these are disgusting fabrications."

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