January 17, 2022

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Protests in Kazakhstan have left more than 160 dead and 6000 arrested

The country of 19 million has witnessed the largest demonstrations since its independence in 1989

EFE / EPA / STRINGERKazakh police gather during a protest in Kazakhstan

protests in Kazakhstan It left 164 dead and about 2,000 wounded. In addition, the authorities announced this Sunday, 9, that they had arrested nearly 6000 people in connection with these bloody uprisings that rocked the largest country in Central Asia over the course of the week. It was not possible to confirm these figures by an independent source, but 103 deaths were recorded in Almaty, the economic capital, according to several newspapers, citing the Ministry of Health, which they called “armed criminals”) and 16 security personnel. forces.

The statement disappeared on Sunday afternoon from a channel on the government channel on cableThe Ministry of Health explained to the Kazakh and Russian media that the information was published in error. However, they did not deny the information and no new figures were provided. The Kazakh presidency said in a statement that a total of 5,800 people were arrested “among them many foreigners” in 125 different investigations, without providing further details. The source added, after a crisis meeting held by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, that “the situation has stabilized throughout the country,” despite the fact that the security forces continued to carry out “cleansing” operations.

Kazakhstan, a country of 19 million people rich in hydrocarbons, witnessed unprecedented demonstrations, the largest since independence in 1989, in which dozens were killed. The protests began last Sunday 2, in the governorates, against the backdrop of rising gas prices. Then it spread to major cities, including Almaty, where the police fired live bullets at the demonstrators. According to the Kazakh Interior Ministry, citing local newspapers on Sunday, the material damage was estimated at 175 million euros (1.1 billion Brazilian reais).

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More than 100 companies and banks were looted and about 400 cars were destroyed. Almaty has returned to relative calm in recent days, but police officers fired warning shots into the air to prevent its residents from approaching the city’s central square, the report indicated on Saturday 8. And on Sunday, according to newspapers, it raised fears of a possible shortage. The domestic airport, which was supposed to reopen on Monday, will remain closed for 10 days “until the situation stabilizes.”

*With information from Agence France-Presse