More than 5,000 Kazakhs arrested since riots erupted a week ago

This handout picture taken and released by the Russian Defence Ministry on January 9, 2022 shows Russian military vehicles moving along an airfield after a military cargo plane landing in Almaty, Kazakhstan. More than 5,000 people have been arrested in Kazakhstan over the riots. (Photo: Handout / Russian Defence Ministry / AFP)
ALMATY, Kazakhstan — More than 5,000 people have been arrested in Kazakhstan over the riots that have shaken Central Asia's largest country in the last week, Kazakh authorities were quoted as saying Sunday.اضافة اعلان

In total, 5,135 people have been detained for questioning as part of 125 separate investigations into the unrest, according to the interior ministry quoted by local media.

The energy-rich country of around 19 million people has been rocked by a week of riots with dozens killed.

Fuel price rises sparked the unrest a week ago in western provincial areas but they quickly reached large cities, including the economic hub Almaty, where riots erupted and police opened fire using live rounds.

The interior ministry, quoted Sunday by local media, said initial estimates put property damage at around 175 million euros.

More than 100 businesses and banks were attacked and looted and more than 400 vehicles destroyed, the ministry was quoted as saying.

"Today the situation is stabilized in all regions of the country," Interior Minister Erlan Turgumbayev said, adding nonetheless that "the counter-terror operation is continuing in a bid to reestablish order in the country."

A relative calm appeared to return to Almaty, with police sometimes firing shots into the air to stop people approaching the city's central square, an AFP correspondent said Saturday.

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