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Kazakhstan largely restores order after lethal crackdown

Riot police walk toward demonstrators during a Wednesday protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Associated Press/Photo by Vladimir Tretyakov

Kazakhstan largely restores order after lethal crackdown

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Friday the nation had mostly restored constitutional order after anti-government protests turned violent this week. In a televised address on Friday, Tokayev said he had personally ordered security forces to “open fire with lethal force” on protesters he called terrorists and militants. The Interior Ministry said authorities killed 26 people and detained more than 3,000 others, while 18 police and national guard members died since the start of the unrest. Tokayev rejected calls for peaceful talks as “nonsense,” although the government did announce a price cap on fuel and a freeze on utility bill prices Thursday to appease protester demands.

Has normalcy returned? Skirmishes continued near the main square of the largest city of Almaty on Friday morning. Train and air traffic and internet access partially returned in other parts of the country, including the capital city of Nur-Sultan. Authorities said about 2,500 peacekeeping members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led alliance of ex-Soviet nations, will remain in Kazakhstan for a few days or weeks.

Dig deeper: Read my previous report in The Sift about the unrest.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD’s Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University–Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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