Kazakh President Tokayev Orders to Open Fire on Terrorists Without Any Warning
08:36 GMT 07.01.2022 (Updated: 09:45 GMT 07.01.2022)
According to Kazakh authorities, several National Guard officers were killed, and over 200 were wounded amid mass riots that hit the country over the week.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated on Friday that he has ordered the military and law enforcement services to use lethal force against terrorists, to open fire without warning.
"I gave the order to law enforcement agencies and the army to open fire to kill without warning", Tokayev said in a televised address to the nation.
According to Tokayev, at least 20,000 gunmen attacked Almaty. He said that the armed rioters were trained and coordinated by one centre and that the terrorists will be eliminated if they refuse to surrender.
He promised to find out why the authorities "were caught napping" regarding the attacks, letting the terrorists strike.
© REUTERS / PAVEL MIKHEYEVA burned car is seen in front of the mayor's office building which was torched during protests triggered by fuel price increase in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 6, 2022
A burned car is seen in front of the mayor's office building which was torched during protests triggered by fuel price increase in Almaty, Kazakhstan January 6, 2022
The president also blasted "so-called 'independent' media" and "foreign actors" for igniting the violence and promised a harsh reaction to any attacks on law and order.
Tokayev thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the prompt response to his appeal regarding peacekeepers and stressed that the CSTO forces would only be in the country for a short time.
Additionally, he stressed that the authorities noticed the demands made by peaceful protesters before the riots ignited, and announced reforms, saying he will deliver a speech in the nation's parliament on 11 January, regarding the current crisis.
© Sputnik / Alexei DruzhininPresident of Kazakhstan Kassym Tokayev
President of Kazakhstan Kassym Tokayev
© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin/
Mass protests in the country began in early January, as people hit the streets to oppose rising gas prices. The unrest then spread to other cities, resulting in violent clashes with the police, looting, arson, and vandalism.
In Almaty, the old capital and Kazakhstan's most populous city, hundreds of people stormed the mayor's office and the old presidential residence. There were multiple reports of attacks against police officers and troops.
In order to curb the violence, Tokayev requested assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), who are sending peacekeeping forces to guard strategic objects in the country.