Eight police and National Guard officers were killed and 317 others were wounded in riots in several regions in Kazakhstan, the republic’s Interior Ministry reported on Wednesday.
The acts of vandalism and looting have been staged by provocateurs, the ministry said, urging citizens not to succumb to their provocations.
Protests have been raging in Kazakhstan for the fourth day in a row. On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangistau region in the country’s southwest, protesting against fuel price hikes. Two days later, riots erupted in Almaty (in the country’s southeast) where police used stun grenades to disperse crowds and also in other cities, in particular, in Atyrau and Aktobe (in the west), Uralsk (in the northwest), Taraz, Shymkent and Kyzylorda (in the south), Karaganda (in the northeast) and even in the capital of Nur-Sultan.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev earlier declared a state of emergency in the Mangistau and Almaty regions and also in Almaty and Nur-Sultan for two weeks. After that, a state of emergency was declared on the entire territory of Kazakhstan. On January 5, the head of the Kazakh state dismissed the government. Its members continue discharging their duties until a new Cabinet is approved.