Kazakhstan president declares state of emergency in West, Almaty
Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declares a state of emergency in the western part of the country in addition to Almaty in light of riot-turned protests over fuel prices.
Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed into law a decree declaring a state of emergency in the west of the country and Almaty, the country's largest city, in light of demonstrations over surging gas prices.
Police fired tear gas and stun grenades in a bid to break up the thousands-strong protest in Almaty on Tuesday night. The police later opened fire after the protesters refused to disperse, and estimates suggest there are more than 5,000 demonstrators.
President Tokayev announced that he would be heading a cabinet meeting on Wednesday to discuss the social and economic condition of the country.
Following the protests, Tokayev asserted in a televised speech that he would not permit the toppling of the Kazakhstani regime.
Several protesters and riot police officers were seen admitted to a hospital in central Almaty with what appeared to be minor injuries.
Smaller protests were staged in cities across the country from Sunday, beginning with the western town of Zhanaozen.
Today's protests, though, saw demonstrators setting fire to police vehicles and breaking storefronts in the country's largest metropolis and state buildings.
Messenger apps Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp were down in Kazakhstan early on Wednesday as thousands took to the streets to protest against oil prices and the government.