Counter-Terrorism Operation Continues in Almaty, Overall Situation Stable - Reports
03:01 GMT 10.01.2022 (Updated: 03:04 GMT 10.01.2022)
NUR-SULTAN (Sputnik) - The situation in Kazakhstan’s Almaty is stabilizing, although the counter-terrorism operation continues in the city, the Khabar 24 TV channel reports.
Sirens are still going off in the city and the curfew is still in place, Khabar 24 reported on Monday, adding that the situation at the checkpoints is calm and traffic is resuming.
On Sunday, Kazakh media reported that the counter-terrorism operation in Almaty was entering a new stage and military forces had been stationed at all 13 checkpoints to prevent the escape of militants from the city. Law enforcement authorities had taken full control of all entrances and exits from Almaty.
A wave of protests swept across Kazakhstan earlier this month, following a sharp rise in gas prices. Despite the government's attempts to quell the discontent and promises to bring the prices down, violence erupted in Kazakhstan and there have been widespread clashes with law enforcement officers in several regions.
The government declared a state of emergency until January 19. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev asked for assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in resolving the issue and peacekeepers were sent into Kazakhstan. Tokayev said on Friday that the government had reached a compromise with peaceful protesters on urgent social and economic issues and that he was going to announce specific measures on Tuesday.
According to Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry, the country’s law enforcement will carry out a major investigation into the causes of the mass riots and will present the results to the world community.
The ministry has called on the media not to distort information regarding the unrest in Kazakhstan and emphasized that law enforcement and the military are currently standing up to terrorists and not peaceful protesters. Preliminary data indicates that well-coordinated terrorist groups trained from abroad which carried out armed aggression in Kazakhstan include people who had participated in combat activities in the past, on the side of radical Islamist groups.