Almaty faced 6 waves of attacks: Kazakh President
As violence escalates in Kazakhstan, and after state apparatuses found beheaded police officers in the country in light of riots, Kazakh President says militants spoke foreign languages.
Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev claimed that militants who did not speak Kazakh were among those who had conducted several attacks on Almaty in recent days.
Tokayev added that the assailants, whom he referred to as "terrorists and bandits," were well-trained and well-organized, and most likely got orders from a special center.
Gangsters and terrorists very well trained, organized and commanded by the special centre. Some of them were speaking non-Kazakh languages. There were at least six waves of attacks of terrorists at Almaty, total amount of them 20 thousand.— Qasym-Jomart Toqayev (@TokayevKZ) January 7, 2022
"Some of them were speaking non-Kazakh languages. There were at least six waves of attacks of terrorists at Almaty, total amount of 20 thousand," he tweeted in English.
He further accused the militants of robbing and killing police officers and troops, setting fire to government buildings, stealing private homes and shops, murdering ordinary civilians, and raping young women.
"In my basic view: no talks with the terrorists, we must kill them," he wrote.
"4,000 terrorists" arrested
"Up to 4,000 terrorists were arrested" in Kazakhstan, with the largest number of arrests being in Almaty, the Kazakh media reported on Friday, citing the country's Interior Ministry.
According to the publication Vlast, at "least 4,000 terrorists have been arrested in Kazakhstan," with the majority of the arrests taking place in Almaty, which has seen violent battles between rioters and police officers over the previous several days. The government security personnel "terminated the activities of over 100 individuals" during the clean-up operation, according to the report.
Here's what you need to know
Kazakhstan on Friday imposed a countrywide "critical red" of the terror threat level, local news outlets reported, meaning the government sees that the terrorism threat is severe in the country.
The severity of the threat means the government is fully mobilizing all its forces and special forces, who, in turn, will be able to search civilians and vehicles at will, in addition to restricting and directing their movement and accessing information transmitted via various telecommunication channels.
As the intensity and violence of demonstrations escalated, President Tokayev appealed to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for help in quelling protests across the country that he said were led by "terrorist gangs."
"Today I appealed to the heads of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) states to assist Kazakhstan in overcoming this terrorist threat," Tokayev said on state television early Thursday.
The president accused the attackers of receiving training abroad and being foreign agents.