Kazakh authorities say 225 killed in violent unrest | News

Senior law enforcement officials said 19 members of the security forces were among the dead.

The deadly violence in Kazakhstan that began with peaceful protests over energy prices and led the government to seek help from a Russian-led military bloc killed 225 people, authorities announced.

“During the state of emergency, the bodies of 225 people were transported to the mortuary, 19 of them were law enforcement officers and military personnel,” State Attorney Representative Sherik Sharabayev said at a briefing on Saturday.

Shalabayev added that some of the others were “armed bandits involved in terrorist attacks”.

“Unfortunately, civilians are also victims of acts of terrorism.”

Police detain a demonstrator during protests in Almaty, KazakhstanPolice detain a demonstrator during protests in Almaty, Kazakhstan [File: Vladimir Tretyakov/AP Photo]

Kazakhstan has previously admitted fewer than 50 people were killed, 26 “armed criminals” and 18 security officials in the conflict, exposing infighting at the highest levels of the government.

A higher death toll of 164 appeared on the official Telegram channel last week but was quickly withdrawn.

Health ministry spokesman Asel Artakshinova said more than 2,600 people sought treatment in hospital, with 67 of them in serious condition.

Kazakh authorities have blamed the violence on bandits and international “terrorists” who they say have hijacked the protests, shifting the epicentre of unrest from the west to Almaty, the country’s largest city.

Russian troops disembark as they land in Ivanovo after completing their mission in Kazakhstan.Military cargo plane of Russian troops landing in Ivanovo after completing mission in Kazakhstan [Russian Defence Ministry/AFP]

President Kassim-Jomart Tokayev sought help from the Russian-led military bloc during the unrest and removed his former patron and predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev by taking over the National Security Council. on the side.

Troops from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), an alliance of six former Soviet states, helped quell violence in the Central Asian country and began a gradual withdrawal on Thursday.

Following complaints that detainees were beaten and tortured afterwards, Tokayev on Saturday ordered police to refrain from abuse and told prosecutors to be lenient with those who did not commit serious crimes.

The Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday that all troop-carrying planes had returned. It is unclear whether the troops of other CSTO countries remain in Kazakhstan.