Kazakh police fire stun grenades at protesters
Police in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty fired stun grenades Wednesday against more than 1,000 protesters marching towards the main city administration building, an AFP correspondent said.
The protesters had gathered at a square near the building after a night of unprecedented unrest across the Central Asian nation that followed an energy price hike.
There were reports that protesters had stormed and entered the building but these could not be immediately confirmed.
AFP’s correspondent said the scene in Almaty was chaotic and it appeared that tear gas had been fired.
Spontaneous protests are banned in authoritarian Kazakhstan, an energy-rich ex-Soviet country allied with Russia.
Thousands took to the streets in Almaty and in the western province of Mangystau late Tuesday and overnight Wednesday, in protests that started over a New Year increase in gas prices.
Police fired stun grenades and tear gas into the crowd in Almaty overnight, as President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev accepted the resignation of the government and imposed states of emergency in affected areas.