Conflicts & War

Kazakhstan to conclude preliminary investigations into January riots in March

Nur-Sultan, Feb 21 (EFE).- The Government of Kazakhstan on Monday said it expected to have by the middle of March preliminary results of the open investigation into last month’s violent disturbances, which caused nearly 240 deaths, 4,600 injuries and some 10,000 arrests.

Officials from the Interior Ministry and the State Attorney General’s Office said there were still 470 people arrested related to 3,193 criminal proceedings, which include terrorist acts (46), murders (94) and violent actions (45).

They stressed that these disturbances began as a peaceful protest against the rise in the price of liquefied gas and later, after measures were decreed to freeze prices, violent attacks occurred in several cities in a synchronized and coordinated manner, “which in many cases were terrorist acts intended to destabilize the country.”

The deputy attorney general, Bulat Dembayev, lamented how a popular protest was used to carry out these attacks from a single command, which he said intended to seize the economic and social power of the country and which showed its ability to block the distribution of energy or means of transportation.

In addition, he said, they intended to leave the population of the affected areas without supplies, especially in Almaty.

In Almaty, the former capital of the Central Asian republic, some 20,000 people participated in the riots and violent acts, he said.

In total, the attacks “destroyed” 1,466 businesses and buildings in different cities, 71 of them official, and 700 vehicles were burned or seriously damaged, including 345 of those used by the emergency services or the police and 116 owned by civilians.

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