Anti-Government Protests in Kazakhstan: 24 Dead, including Police Officers

Kazakhstan has been rocked by intensifying protests that began on Sunday over a sharp rise in prices for liquefied petroleum gas fuel.

Kazakhstan
PC: Al Jazeera

Almaty: Dozens of protesters were killed in Kazakhstan in attacks on government buildings and at least a dozen officers died, including one who was found beheaded, authorities said Thursday.

Kazakhstan is experiencing the worst street protests the country has seen since gaining independence three decades ago. Government buildings have been set ablaze.

There were attempts to storm buildings in Almaty overnight and “dozens of attackers were liquidated,” police spokeswoman Saltanat Azirbek said Thursday. She spoke on state news channel Khabar-24. The reported attempts to storm the buildings came after widespread unrest in the city on Wednesday, including seizure of the mayor’s building, which was set on fire.

Later Thursday, state news channel Khabar-24 cited the city commandant’s office as saying that another 353 law enforcement officers were injured in addition to the 12 killed.

A Russia-led military alliance, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, said early Thursday that it would send peacekeeper troops to Kazakhstan at the request of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

The Kazakh Interior Ministry said eight police officers and national guard members were killed in the unrest and more than 300 were injured.

President KassymJomart Tokayev vowed to take harsh measures to quell the unrest and declared a two-week state of emergency for the whole country expanding one that had been announced for both the capital of NurSultan and the largest city of Almaty that imposed an overnight curfew and restricted movement into and around the urban areas.

Kazakhstan has been rocked by intensifying protests that began on Sunday over a sharp rise in prices for liquefied petroleum gas fuel. The protests began in the country’s west but spread to Almaty and the capital Nur-Sultan.

Kazakhstan has been grappling with rising price pressures. Inflation was closing in on 9% year-on-year late last year – its highest level in more than five years – forcing the central bank to raise interest rates to 9.75%.

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