12 police officers, dozens of protesters dead in Kazakhstan unrest
Rallies that began as a protest of fuel prices have morphed to reflect discontent with the ruling party
By Suzie Ziegler
ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Violent unrest in the Central Asia nation of Kazakhstan resulted in dozens of deaths overnight Wednesday, including 12 police officers. The Associated Press reports that protests started over rising fuel prices but have come to reflect a broader discontent with authoritarian rule.
On Wednesday, protesters stormed government buildings in Almaty — the country’s largest city — and set some ablaze.
A police spokesperson said “dozens of attackers were liquidated,” using a term used to describe killing people thought to be extremists, according to the Associated Press.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declared a state of emergency and called on a Russian-based military group to help quell the violence, according to Al Jazeera. An unspecified number of troops have been approved “for a limited period with the aim of stabilization and normalization of the situation,” the report says. Meanwhile, multiple sources including Al Jazeera and The Independent are reporting that the country is experiencing an internet blackout with limited access to Kazakh news sites.
The anti-government demonstrations are largely tied to resentment towards former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, according to Al Jazeera. Nazarbayev stepped down in 2019 but remains influential.
More than 1,000 people have been injured during the unrest, according to The Independent. The Associated Press reports that 353 police officers have been injured.
Dozens of protesters and 12 police died during extraordinarily violent demonstrations in Kazakhstan that saw government buildings stormed and set ablaze, authorities said. https://t.co/stnQeuMDva pic.twitter.com/rrdJufukLg— ABC News (@ABC) January 6, 2022
More chaotic footage from Kazakhstan seeping out on Telegram. This purportedly from Aktobe - car driving into a line of riot police. Don’t know the original source unfortunately. pic.twitter.com/3BEKlZMKIs— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) January 6, 2022
#Kazakhstan Armed security forces are in Almaty. There are also armoured personnel carriers, armoured vehicles, and military trucks. Local police reported that dozens of protesters had been killed. pic.twitter.com/h1vzkKdmjV— Hanna Liubakova (@HannaLiubakova) January 6, 2022
As Kazakhstan summons Russian troops to help suppress protests, Kazakh officials today report ominously that police have "killed 'dozens' of protesters and detained around 2,000 people over the past day in violent clashes." https://t.co/XTHUX5MjKd pic.twitter.com/Sp9p21gKmg— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) January 6, 2022
• Reports: soldiers opened fire at demonstrators in Kazakhstan's largest city— DW News (@dwnews) January 6, 2022
• Dozens of protesters and 12 police were killed so far, authorities said
• At least 2,000 were arrested in Almaty since the unrest began
The latest: https://t.co/k8e0a7xeQ7 pic.twitter.com/lVSslVNlKD
Kazakhstan police killed dozens of protesters at major demonstrations against corruption and fuel price hikes.— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 6, 2022
At least 2 security officers were reportedly decapitated.
The avg. salary in the oil-rich nation is less than $600/month, with most wealth held by political elite. pic.twitter.com/omITgzIAPf