Kazakhstan says 164 killed in week of protests

Moscow– KazakhstanThe health ministry said on Sunday that 164 people have been killed in protests that have rocked the country over the past week.

The figures reported on national news channel Khabar-24 represent a significant increase from previous figures. It was unclear whether the report involved only civilians, or if it included law enforcement deaths. Kazakh authorities said earlier on Sunday that 16 members of the police or National Guard had been killed. Authorities had previously put the civilian death toll at 26.

According to the ministry, most of the deaths – 103 people – occurred in the country’s largest city, Almaty, where demonstrators occupied government buildings and set some on fire. KazakhstanThe Children’s Rights Ombudsman said three of the victims were minors, including a 4-year-old girl.

The ministry earlier reported that more than 2,200 people had sought treatment for their injuries from the protests, and the interior ministry said about 1,300 security personnel were injured.

Office of the President Kasim-Jomart Tokayev Some 5,800 people were detained by police during protests that turned violent last week and prompted the Russian-led military coalition to send troops to the country, said .

his Order has stabilized in the country, and authorities have regained control of the administrative building occupied by protesters, the office said. Some buildings were set on fire.

Russian television Mir-24 said sporadic gunfire was heard in Almaty on Sunday, but it was unclear whether they were warning shots from law enforcement. Tokayev friday says he The police and army have been authorized to shoot people to restore order.

Almaty’s airport, which was occupied by protesters last week, remains closed but is expected to resume operations on Monday.

Protests against a sharp rise in fuel prices began on January 2 in the western part of the country and spread across the country, apparently reflecting broader discontent.

same party ruling Kazakhstan Since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.Any figure who aspires to oppose the government is either suppressed, marginalized or co-opted, despite widespread economic hardship KazakhstanHas huge reserves of oil, natural gas, uranium and minerals.

Tokayev believes the demonstrations were set off by foreign-backed “terrorists”, although the protests showed no apparent leader or organization.Statement from his The detention included “a significant number of foreigners,” the office said on Sunday, without providing details.

It was unclear how many detainees remained in custody on Sunday.

Neighboring Kyrgyzstan’s foreign ministry on Sunday called for the release of prominent Kyrgyz musician Vikram Ruzakunov after a video on Kazakh TV showed he had flown to the country to take part in protests and promised $200. In the video, apparently in police custody, Ruzakhunov has bruises on his face and a large gash on his forehead.

former person in charge KazakhstanThe counterintelligence and counterterrorism agencies have been arrested on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. The arrest of Karim Massimov was announced on Saturday, just days after he was removed as head of the National Security Council. Tokayev.

No details were given of what Massimov was accused of amounting to an attempt to overthrow the government. The National Security Council, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB, is responsible for counterintelligence, border guards and counterterrorism activities.

As the unrest intensified, KazakhstanThe ministerial cabinet resigned but remained in office for the time being. Tokayev Spokesman Brisk Uali said the president would propose the formation of a new cabinet on Tuesday.

At Tokayev’s request, the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance of six former Soviet states, authorized the dispatch of some 2,500 soldiers, mostly Russians, to Russia. Kazakhstan as peacekeepers.

Some troops were guarding government facilities in the capital Nur-Sultan, which “allowed the release of parts of Kazakh law enforcement agencies and their redeployment to Almaty to participate in counter-terrorism operations,” according to a statement. Tokayev’s office.

Many demonstrators chanted “Old man get out”, a sign that the demonstrations were more deeply rooted than fuel price hikes, an allegation against Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakhstanindependence until he resigns and is anointed in 2019 Tokayev as his successor.

Nazarbayev retains considerable power as chairman of the National Security Council.but Tokayev replace he Served as President of Parliament during the riots. Possibly aimed at making concessions to appease protesters. However, Nazarbayev’s adviser, Aido Ukibay, said on Sunday that it was done on Nazarbayev’s initiative, KazTag news agency KazTag reported.

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