More than 450 arrests in Kazakhstan after bloody riots

Kazakhstan announced this Saturday that it had arrested more than 450 people for terrorism and public disorder after the bloody riots that hit this central Asian country in early January.

Unprecedented demonstrations against an increase in energy prices degenerated in this former Soviet republic into serious riots and strong armed repression. The incidents resulted in 225 deaths and hundreds of injuries and the president, Kasym-Jomart Tokayev, was forced to request the deployment of Russian armed forces and other allied nations to restore order.

According to Eldos Kilymjanov, an official with the Kazakh prosecutor’s office, 464 suspects were arrested for terrorism and public disorder after the riots.

In total, 970 people accused of theft, disturbing public order or illegal possession of weapons have been arrested in the framework of the investigations opened after the riot, Kilymjanov told the press.

These disturbances, unprecedented since the country’s independence in 1991, led to the dispatch of some 2,000 soldiers from Russia and other allied countries, who ended up withdrawing on January 19, once their mission had been completed.

President Tokayev accused “terrorists” trained, according to him, abroad of having provoked the revolt, although he did not provide evidence of this.


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