Protesters in Almaty break into City Hall

Protesters in Almaty break into City Hall

Protesters in Almaty, Kazakhstan, broke into the Mayor's Office (Akimat) with shots heard in the vicinity and smoke billowing from inside the building, a Sputnik correspondent is reporting from the scene on Wednesday.

People broke windows on the ground floor and rushed into the office from different sides. Gunfire rang out shortly thereafter. A fire can be seen burning on the first floor through the windows.

On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangistau region, protesting against high fuel prices. Two days later, the protests engulfed Almaty, where the police used flashbangs to disperse the crowd, as well as other cities, including Atyrau, Aktobe, Uralsk, Taraz, Shymkent, Kyzylorda, Karaganda and even Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan.

The president imposed a two-week state of emergency and a curfew in the country’s largest city of Almaty and the southwestern Mangistau Province early on Wednesday. The head of the state also accepted the government’s resignation. Its members will continue to perform their tasks until a new cabinet is formed.