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Kazakhstan leader orders security forces to ‘kill without warning’ to quell violent protests

Kazakhstan leader orders security forces to 'kill without warning' to quell violent protests
Written by publishing team

In a defiant public address Friday, Tokayev said the unrest that began earlier this week with protests against rising fuel prices was orchestrated by well-trained “terrorist gangs” from inside and outside the country.

Tokayev said the situation had “stabilised” in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, and that “the implementation of the state of emergency is bearing fruit.”

“But the terrorists continue to destroy public and private property and use weapons against citizens,” he said. “I gave the order to law enforcement and the military to open fire to kill without warning.”

The discourse attempted to undermine the narrative that the demonstrations were the product of popular unrest that had become increasingly destructive and deadly. Tokayev said the violence was caused by a well-coordinated enemy, armed with sleeper cells carrying out “terror attacks” and “specialists trained in ideological sabotage, skillfully using disinformation or” falsification” and able to manipulate people’s moods.

“Their actions showed a clear plan of attacks on military, administrative and social facilities in almost all areas, coherent coordination of actions, high combat readiness and brutal cruelty,” Tokayev said. “They must be destroyed.”

The demonstrations are the biggest challenge yet to the autocrat’s rule, with initial public anger over rising fuel prices and discontent with the government widening over corruption, living standards, poverty and unemployment in the oil-rich country, according to human rights groups. .

In Almaty, protesters were reported to have stormed the airport, forcibly entered government buildings, and set fire to the city’s main administration office. Dozens were reported killed and hundreds injured in clashes on Thursday.

In his speech, Tokayev emphasized that peaceful assembly was legalized in 2020 to strengthen democracy. But he said calls from abroad for a peaceful solution were “nonsense”.

“What kind of negotiations can be with criminals and murderers?” Tokayev added.

Tokayev said a unit from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Russian-led military alliance composed of ex-Soviet states, had arrived in the country for “a short period of time” to carry out defense and support missions.

The Kazakh leader thanked the CSTO heads of state for their support and expressed his “special gratitude” to Russian President Vladimir Putin for “a very prompt and most importantly friendly response to my appeal” for the unity of the CSTO.

He also thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping, heads of other CSTO member states, Uzbekistan and Turkey and “leaders of the United Nations and other international organizations for their words of support.”

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