A man walks past the building, which was damaged during the protests, of the Nur Otan ruling party in Almaty. Reuters
The internet returned to Kazakhstan's largest city on Monday after a five-day blackout as deadly clashes left dozens dead and the financial hub of 1.8 million people reeling, an AFP correspondent reported.
Kazakhstan authorities said Sunday that 164 people, including a 4-year-old girl, were killed in a week of protests that marked the worst unrest since the former Soviet republic gained independence 30 years ago.
Almaty, Kazakhstan's former capital, had been nearly completely offline since Wednesday, but local and foreign websites were accessible again Monday, which was declared a day of mourning following the worst unrest in the ex-Soviet republic's independent history.
Russian military vehicles drive upon arrival in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Reuters
The office of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said order has been restored in the Central Asian country and that the government has regained control of all buildings that were taken over by the protesters. Some of the buildings were set on fire.
Kazakhstan has framed the violence in Almaty as an attack by "terrorist groups" and expressed displeasure at foreign media coverage of the events that began with protests over a fuel price hike in the west of the country on January 2.
But the authoritarian government has also struggled to firm up its own narrative of events.
A tow truck transports a bus, which was burned during clashes in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Sunday. AP
On Sunday evening the information ministry retracted a statement that appeared in an officially run Telegram channel earlier in the day saying that more than 164 people had died across the country during the violence.
Sporadic gunfire was heard Sunday in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, according to the Russian TV station Mir-24, but it was unclear whether those were warning shots by law enforcement. Tokayev said Friday he had authorized a shoot-to-kill order for police and the military to restore order.
The demonstrations, which began in the western part of Kazakhstan, began Jan. 2. over a sharp rise in fuel prices and spread throughout the country, apparently reflecting wider discontent with the authoritarian government. They prompted a Russia-led military alliance to send troops to the country.
Russian citizens wait to board aircrafts to leave Kazakhstan for Moscow at an airport in Almaty. AP
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Tokayev's order "something I resolutely reject.”
"The shoot-to-kill order, to the extent it exists, is wrong and should be rescinded,” he said Sunday on ABC's "This Week.”
"And Kazakhstan has the ability to maintain law and order, to defend the institutions of the state, but to do so in a way that respects the rights of peaceful protesters and also addresses the concerns that they’ve raised - economic concerns, some political concerns,” Blinken added.
Fresh violence raged in Kazakhstan's main city on Thursday after Russia rushed in paratroopers overnight to put down a countrywide uprising in the former Soviet state closely allied to Moscow.
During a video conference of leaders from several ex-Soviet countries in a military alliance that sent in the troops, Tokayev's Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin confirmed they would leave as soon as their mission ended.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Monday that his country had weathered an attempted coup d'etat coordinated by what he called "a single centre" after the most violent unrest since the Soviet collapse.
Sheikh Mohammed added: “I followed the interview of my brother, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, with Fox Channel...an interview that reflected the strength of achievement in the Kingdom, and the accuracy of the vision adopted by His Highness...
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed said on the X platform: “The broadcast interview with my brother Mohammed Bin Salman was a testament to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's remarkable transformation and long record of achievement. United by our shared success story, the UAE and Saudi Arabia stand together in empowering generations to come.”
In the main store in China, which is located in the center of the capital, Beijing, thousands lined up on Friday morning to obtain the latest iPhone, despite market fears that nationalist enthusiasm would weaken the American company’s sales in China.
These accidents led to the tragic loss of three lives, with 75 individuals sustaining varied injuries: two with severe injuries, 44 with moderate injuries, and 29 with minor ones.