Deadly unrest in Kazakhstan in 30 years since its split

Security forces in Kazakhstan say that they have killed dozens of protesters who stormed government buildings, and several police officers in the country's biggest city Almaty were also killed in the worst unrest seen in the country in 30 years since its split from the Soviet Union.

In almost a week of protests, dozens have been killed in violent clashes, including citizens and police. What began as protests over the rising fuel prices has grown into a nationwide uproar against inequality and corruption.

Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appealed to Russia for help and a Moscow-led alliance is now sending in peacekeeping troops.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also said, "20,000 bandits" had attacked the main city of Almaty, the epicentre of protests sparked by a fuel price hike, which is now on their fifth day. He blamed foreign-trained terrorists for the unrest, without providing evidence.

In a televised address on Friday, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev warned demonstrators would be “destroyed” as part of a forceful “counterterrorist” operation. He called the idea of holding to hold talks with protesters "nonsense", saying: "What kind of talks can we hold with criminals and murderers?"

The President said, "Whoever does not surrender will be destroyed. I have given the order to law enforcement agencies and the army to shoot to kill, without warning."

The force from the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) reportedly has about 2,500 soldiers. Mr Tokayev gave "special thanks" to Russian President Vladimir Putin for sending troops to the former Soviet nation. Moscow said more than 70 planes were ferrying Russian troops into Kazakhstan, and that these were now helping control Almaty's main airport, recaptured on Thursday from protesters.

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