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Protests in Kazakhstan resulted in rising police deaths and hundreds injured as authorities called for a “counter-terrorism” operation. UN calls on all to refrain from violence.
Kazakhstan's situation continues to escalate. At least 18 casualties among police officers and military servicemen were reported; there are no reports on civilian casualties due to the authorities' call for a "counter-terrorism" operation.
According to the update released by Kazakhstan's interior ministry on Thursday, about 750 law enforcement have evidenced injuries occurring during the ongoing unrest.
Security officials have reported "dozens of attackers" eliminated in two separate attacks in the city of Almaty. The largest metropolis has become an epicenter of the protests, escalating to vandalism against administrative buildings, businesses and shopping centers. On Thursday, a UN official of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) noted that "almost 1,000 people have reportedly been injured in the protests," calling all the parties of Kazakhstan to "refrain from violence and to seek a peaceful resolution of grievances."
The central Republic Square, where hundreds of protesters had previously gathered, evidenced on Thursday the authorities' response with a massive police operation. Law enforcement stated they managed to secure the area with an ongoing operation in other parts of Almaty.
The Interior Ministry stated on Thursday evening, they continue to handle the situation, detaining lawbreakers all over the country. The Ministry warned those who resisted the police and the military will be “eliminated.”
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev labeled the disturbances a “terrorist attack” against the country and blamed the violence on organized, foreign-trained groups acting among the protesters. Tokayev has also contacted the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) (a security treaty between six former Soviet states, incorporating Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan) asking for help.