Kazakhstan unrest: Almaty mayor’s office stormed in protest


Anti-government protesters in Kazakhstan’s main city, Almaty, have stormed the mayor’s office on a second day of protests over fuel prices. Thousands of people took to the streets on Wednesday despite a state of emergency in some areas. On Tuesday, the president dismissed the government and said lower fuel prices would be restored. Protests are rare in the oil-rich former Soviet country, which is tightly controlled by the government.

In Almaty, police fired stun grenades and tear gas at a crowd of several thousand protesters, but were unable to stop them from entering the mayor’s office, AFP reports. Video on social media showed a plume of smoke rising from the building, while gunfire could also be heard. The city’s police chief, Kanat Taimerdenov, said “extremists and radicals” had attacked 500 civilians and ransacked hundreds of businesses. There are also reports that crowds have gathered near official buildings in other cities, and internet services appear to have been switched off across the country.(BBC)…[+]