Kazakhstan lifted on Tuesday a state of emergency in southwestern Kazakh oil town of Zhanaozen introduced last December over violent clashes between police and protesters.
The clashes, which broke out in Zhanaozen on December 16 when Kazakhstan marked its Independence Day, left 16 people dead and at least 64 injured. Many buildings, including those of the mayor`s office, KazMunaiGaz, some hotels, were damaged, cars were set on fire and shops and banks looted.
Kazakh authorities blamed unemployed oil workers for provoking the violence, while the protesters claimed that police attacked a peaceful rally.
The riots sparked a series of demonstrations against the excessive use of force by police in several other towns in southwestern Kazakhstan.