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Dozens Killed As Kazakh Police Battle For Control Of Streets In ‘War Zone’ – Banks Being Looted

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Security officials in Kazakhstan admitted they've killed dozens of anti-government rioters in the large main city of Almaty, after alleging the protesters attempted to storm and take control of several police stations. Authorities have labeled the massive fuel protests which have brought the country to the brink of collapse as fueled by "terrorists" and manipulated by "outside interference".

Russian troops are en route to help restore order after an urgent decision by the Russian-led regional security bloc Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). "The CSTO confirmed Russian paratroopers were being dispatched as peacekeepers, with advance units already deployed," BBC reports Thursday.

Scenes from Almaty and other city streets in Kazakhstan are beginning to resemble a war zone, with state military forces seen in central squares, including armored personnel carriers, the day following embattled President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev vowed the state would not fall, and that he would stay at his post no matter what. 

Widely circulating but unverified social media videos show running street battles with security forces, as police appear to be unleashing live fire, and as some unconfirmed footage seems to show rioters breaching police armories to access weapons.

Unverified footage: state sources are alleging rioters have breached and ransacked police stations…

Also as banks are being attacked and looted…

According to BBC citing state sources, "Twelve members of the security forces have been killed and 353 injured in the unrest, sparked by a doubling in the cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)."

Meanwhile Russia is getting increasingly vocal. According to the newswires:

Russian Foreign Ministry says they see events in Kazakhstan as a foreign-inspired attempt to undermine state security using force.  

And more mayhem is unfolding as Kazakh troops deploy to city streets amid the martial law 'state of emergency' in effect over the whole country: 

SOLDIERS FIRING AT PROTESTERS AND CARS ON MAIN SQUARE OF KAZAKHSTAN'S ALMATY – TASS QUOTES WITNESSES

In addition to Russia the other members of the CSTO expected to send "peacekeeping" forces include Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. Without doubt the move is hugely controversial in the West, with a number of pundits already charging Putin with helping to expand 'authoritarian' rule in the Central Asian former Soviet Republic. 

Mission is now being deemed 'counterterrorism'…

Things are likely to escalate before they get calmer, given that with state security services dubbing their mission to halt the unrest as part of "counter-terror" operations, it in effect greenlights the use of major force.

Below: unverified video purporting to show weapons being passed out to protesters…

Further one regional analyst observed: "It is not surprising that this is happening in Almaty because that's where some protesters ransacked at least one gun store."

As of early Thursday, Russian peacekeeping forces have begun departing, however, there's nothing so far to suggest that the Kremlin is deploying a very large force – also as it likely has its eyes still focused on the Ukraine crisis 2.0 and NATO eastward expansion…

Map source: VOA

developing…


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