Riots in Kazakhstan: Nearly 10,000 arrested – Troops leave in 10 days

Riots in Kazakhstan: Nearly 10,000 arrested – Troops leave in 10 days

Kazakhstan’s security forces have arrested 9,900 people so far as part of investigations into last week ‘s riots in the Central Asian country, the interior ministry said today.

President Kassim-Yomart Tokayev described the coup attempt as a “coup d’etat” in the oil, gas and other resources-rich country, although the crisis was sparked by initially peaceful protests following a sharp rise in the price of LPG, the main fuel.

Mr Tokayev said on Monday that jihadists from neighboring countries and Afghanistan, as well as the Middle East, were involved in the unrest.

The head of state ousted his government and several senior security officials were arrested and charged with treason. The most prominent of these is Karim Massimov, the former head of the National Security Committee.

Mr Tokayev also announced today that the forces sent by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states would begin withdrawing in two days and the process would be completed in ten days.

Nur-Sultan sought the help of the USSR, an alliance of former Soviet republics led by Russia, amid unrest.

In addition, President Tokayev announced in parliament that he had named Alikhan Smailov as the new Prime Minister.

Mr Smailov, 49, was the deputy prime minister in the previous cabinet.

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