Friday 7 January 2022 - 13:45

Interior Ministry: Over 25 Mass Protests’ Participants Killed, 3,000 More Arrested in Kazakhstan

Story Code : 972412
Interior Ministry: Over 25 Mass Protests’ Participants Killed, 3,000 More Arrested in Kazakhstan
"In all, over 3,000 criminals were detained, 26 more killed and 18 armed terrorists were wounded," the television channel reported adding that 18 law enforcers were killed and up to 750 policemen were wounded during mass disorders.

A state of emergency has been declared all across Kazakhstan over mass protests that erupted in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangistau region in the country’s southwest on January 2 where residents protested against fuel price hikes.

On Thursday, Kazakhstan’s military in Almaty ordered the protesters through loudspeakers to leave the Republic Square, warning that they would open fire. Later the shooting began. Eyewitnesses said several people died.

The military completely cleared the Republic Square in Almaty on Thursday, TASS correspondent reports from the scene, many of the instigators of the riots fled shortly after the first shots.

Eyewitnesses report injured and killed, but there is no official confirmation of the information about the dead. A large number of military personnel and equipment remain on the square.

According to Khabar-24 TV channel, the city administration and the residence of the head of state have also been cleared.

According to the TV channel, eyewitnesses confirmed that clashes took place in the vicinity of Republic Square. 

The military is using loudspeakers demanding the streets be cleared out. In addition, all residents have received SMS messages reminding them of the curfew, the TV channel reported.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that the constitutional order has been 'mostly restored' in all regions of the country and local authorities are in control of the current situation, the press office of the country’s president announced following a session of the counter-terrorism headquarters.

"We have launched an anti-terrorism operation," Tokayev was quoted as saying.

"Law enforcement forces are working hard. The constitutional order has been mostly restored in all regions of the country. Local authorities are in control of the situation," he added.

"However, terrorists are still using weapons inflicting damage to the property of our citizens," the president said, adding, "This is why counter-terrorism measures must be in force until the complete elimination of militants."

Protests flared up in several cities of Kazakhstan on January 2. Later they erupted in other cities, including in Almaty, and on January 5 snowballed into mass riots and violence, along with looting and attacks on state buildings. As a result, more than 1,000 people were hurt and deaths have been reported.

Tokayev has requested assistance of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a post-Soviet security bloc. The first units of peacekeepers have started fulfilling their assigned tasks in Kazakhstan.