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Updated on: Monday, January 10, 2022, 04:18 PM IST

Kazakhstan unrest: At least 164 protesters killed, nearly 6,000 detained in past one week, says officials

The figures included "a substantial number of foreign nationals," it said, without elaborating.
AFP
Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

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Violent riots this past week in Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest country, have left more than 150 people dead while nearly almost 6,000 have been arrested, media reported Sunday citing the health ministry.

The energy-rich nation of 19 million people has been rocked by a week of upheaval, with a number of foreigners detained over the unrest.

At least 164 people were killed in the riots, including 103 in the largest city Almaty, which saw some of the fiercest clashes between protesters and security forces.

The new figures – which have not been independently verified – mark a drastic increase in the death toll.

Officials previously said 26 "armed criminals" had been killed and that 16 security officers had died.

In total, 5,800 people have been detained for questioning, the presidency said in a statement on Sunday.

The figures included "a substantial number of foreign nationals," it said, without elaborating.

"The situation has stabilized in all regions of the country," even if security forces were continuing "clean-up" operations, the statement added after President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev held a crisis meeting.

Fuel price rises sparked the unrest that broke out a week ago in the country's west but quickly spread to large cities, including the economic hub Almaty, where riots erupted and police opened fire using live rounds.

The interior ministry, quoted Sunday by local media, put property damage at around 175 million euros ($199 million).

More than 100 businesses and banks were attacked and looted and more than 400 vehicles destroyed, the ministry reportedly said.

A relative calm appeared to have returned to Almaty, with police sometimes firing shots into the air to stop people approaching the city's central square, an Agence France-Presse (AFP) correspondent said.

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Published on: Monday, January 10, 2022, 04:18 PM IST
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