Kazakhstan riots: Three children among 164 killed in harrowing week of violence

The country’s health ministry said most of the deaths occurred in Almaty, the site of the worst clashes the former Soviet state has seen in three decades

Kazakhstan: Destruction after civil unrest

The authorities said that the death toll of at least 164 children killed in violence in Kazakhstan last week included three children.

The country’s health ministry said the majority, 103, occurred in Almaty, the site of the worst clashes the former Soviet state has seen in three decades.

During mass protests against the government last week, thousands of people were arrested and public buildings were set on fire.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev issued a kill order to end the unrest and branded the protesters as “terrorists and bandits”.

Demonstrations against fuel price hikes began a week ago before a broader protest against Tokayev’s government and the man he was replacing, 81-year-old Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The country experienced the worst violence in three decades this week
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Image:

Valery Sharifulin / TASS)

The violence turned into violence on Wednesday, with government buildings storming and protesters taking control of the city’s airport.

The President, under fire, called on the Russian-led forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for support.

The Kremlin said Vladimir Putin would attend a meeting tomorrow on the looming crisis in Kazakhstan.

Although calm appears to have been restored after days of violence, Deputy Defense Minister Sultan Gamaletdinov said today that an “anti-terrorist operation” is still ongoing.

Officials said a “counter-terrorism operation” was underway
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

This will continue, he said, “until the terrorists are completely eliminated and constitutional order is restored in the Republic of Kazakhstan”.

It has led to a purge of security services, with former intelligence chief Karim Massimov arrested on suspicion of high treason as protests raged across the country bordering Russia and China.

Tokayev’s spokesman said Sunday that he anticipated the Russian-led forces would not be in Kazakhstan for long, possibly no longer than a week or less.

The president has awarded prizes for bravery to 16 police and army officers killed in the violence.

According to police, 6,044 people were arrested in connection with the riot.

Troops in the main square of Almaty, where hundreds of people protested this week
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Image:

REUTERS)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington is seeking answers from Kazakhstan on why it needs to use Russian-led forces to resolve internal unrest.

He also condemned the government’s order to kill.

In Almaty, the largest city where much of the violence was concentrated, normal life appeared to return on Sunday.

Security forces have set up checkpoints across the city.

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