Kazakhstan president vows `tough` response to unrest...

Dhaka, Saturday   22 January 2022

Kazakhstan president vows `tough` response to unrest

 International Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 09:12 PM, 5 January 2022   Updated: 09:13 PM, 5 January 2022

Kazakhstan president vows `tough` response to unrest

Kazakhstan president vows `tough` response to unrest

Kazakhstan cut internet and mobile phone access on Wednesday as its president promised a tough response to what he said were "massive attacks" on security forces.

Days of protests over a rise in fuel prices erupted into clashes with police and the storming of government buildings on Wednesday, in the biggest challenge to the Central Asian country's authoritarian government in decades.

Accusing protesters of "massive attacks on law enforcement" that left several dead and wounded, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he would not tolerate further lawlessness.

"I am obliged to protect the safety and peace of our citizens, to worry about the integrity of Kazakhstan," he said in a televised address. 

"I intend to act as tough as possible," Tokayev said. "Together we will overcome this black period in the history of Kazakhstan."

Protests spread across the ex-Soviet nation of 19 million this week in outrage over a New Year increase in prices for Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), which is widely used to fuel cars in the west of the country.

Thousands took to the streets in the country's biggest city Almaty and in the western province of Mangystau, saying the price rise was unfair given oil and gas exporter Kazakhstan's vast energy reserves.

After a night of unrest that saw more than 200 people detained, several thousand protesters stormed the headquarters of the local administration in Almaty on Wednesday afternoon and appeared to have seized control of the building.