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Anti-Government Protests in Kazakhstan: 164 Killed and 5,900 Detained Last Week, Health Ministry Says | World news

A total of 164 people were killed during protests in Kazakhstan last week, the country’s health ministry said.

The protests initially started over rising fuel prices, but escalated to express wider frustrations with the government, sparking a Russian-led military alliance to send troops for the country.

Among the dead are 103 people in Almaty, Kazakhstanthe largest city in, where protesters stormed government buildings and set them on firehealth officials said.

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What is happening in Kazakhstan?

The president’s office said authorities had now regained control of the buildings and the situation in the country had stabilized.

Russian television station Mir-24 said occasional gunshots were heard in the city on Sunday, but it was not clear whether these were warning shots from police.

Three of the victims were under the age of 18, including a four-year-old girl, the Kazakh children’s rights ombudsperson said.

More than 2,200 people were injured in the unrest, including 1,300 security guards, officials said.

There were also about 5,800 people in police custody, the president’s office said, with a “significant number of foreign nationals.”

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev says the protests were fueled by “terrorists” with foreign support, but there were no obvious leaders.

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Kazakhstan’s neighbors affected

It is not clear whether the death toll refers only to civilians or includes law enforcement officials.

Authorities said earlier on Sunday that 16 police officers or members of the National Guard were among those who died.

Mr Tokayev said on Friday that he had authorized police and military to shoot to kill to restore order.

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Russian “blue helmets” sent to Kazakhstan

Almaty airport, which had been taken over by protesters, is expected to resume operations on Monday.

Kazakhstan has been ruled by the same party since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, with challengers repressed, dismissed or co-opted.

Karim Masimov, the former head of the Kazakh counter-intelligence and counterterrorism agency, was arrested for allegedly trying to overthrow the government – days after Mr Tokayev removed him from his post as head of the national security committee.

It is not known why he was detained and no further details of the charges have been released.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russian-led military alliance of six former Soviet states, agreed to send around 2,500 troops to Kazakhstan after a call from Mr. Tokayev.

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