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Riots break out in Kazakhstan amid reports of more dead | World | Deutsche Welle | 18.12.2011

Protests in Kazakhstan's Mangistau province spread to the region's capital of Aktau on Sunday morning, with about 500 angry protesters gathering near the main square to face a large force of riot police. The fresh demonstrations come a day after rioters blocked a passenger train and vandalized a village before police reportedly opened fire, killing one person.

Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:  UzenMunaiGas' headquarters was one of several buildings set alight


The violence began in the western city of Zhanaozen on Friday when sacked oil workers and sympathetic citizens stormed a stage set up in the town's main square to mark the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence. They later set fire to the city hall and the headquarters of the local oil company. Workers in Zhanaozen and other cities in Mangistau had been striking for months for higher wages.


A 20-day state of emergency was declared on Saturday and the town has been virtually cut off from communication, with phones disconnected, radio equipment prohibited and access to and from the city restricted.


"We want them to take away the troops," one of Sunday's protesters told news agency Reuters. The welder had been fired from the oil company Karazhanbasmunai (KBM) after working there for 20 years. "They killed local people."

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Dec 18th, 2011 at 11:57:35 AM EST
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