Sunday, January 16

Kazakhstan: Shooting continues in Almaty

KILLED: One person is shot and killed in the Kazakh city of Almaty. Security forces are standing along the side of the road. The picture is from January 6.

At the same time as the Kazakh authorities state that 26 rebels have been killed, the country’s president claims that order has been restored to the Central Asian country.

On Friday morning, the situation in Kazakhstan is confusing.

The country, and especially Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, has been marked by demonstrations and riots for six days in a row.

The Kazakh Interior Ministry claims that it has “liquidated” what they call 26 “armed criminals”, reports Reuters.

It is unclear whether it is a question of during the night until Friday or whether they state the number for the entire period of demonstrations.

In addition, the ministry says that a total of 18 members of the security forces have so far been killed and several hundred injured. They also state that they have arrested more than 3,000 people.

The Russian state news agency Tass reports on Friday morning that the shooting continues in the center of Almaty, in the southeast of the country.

Almaty has seen the most violent clashes between protesters and security forces.

The news agency also writes about killed people lying in the middle of the road.

Russian troops sent to the country

On Wednesday, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for help from former Soviet states to “stabilize and normalize” the situation in the country.

A Russian-led “peacekeeping force” of about 2,500 soldiers from the CSTO alliance was sent to the country on Thursday.

On Thursday, Russian authorities published photos of Russian forces boarding military aircraft.

And on Friday, the president of Kazakhstan said that “for the most part” order has been restored in the country.

According to The Guardian, around 400 protesters have also been reported in hospitals.

Great dissatisfaction

According to protesters, the protests began peacefully earlier in the week, but became violent after a harsh response from the government.

Extensive dissatisfaction with high gas prices is said to have been the trigger for the demonstrations. But the dissatisfaction with an authoritarian government that is corrupt and nepotistic is also highlighted as the underlying reasons for the demonstrations.

The Kazakh Interior Ministry has previously warned that insurgents who did not listen to the demand for their weapons would be killed, according to the Russian state news agency Ria Novosti, which also reports that all government buildings have been cleared of protesters.

The UN and the EU are among those who have expressed concern about the situation, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has in talks with his Kazakh counterpart called for a peaceful solution to the situation.

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