Security forces in the Central Asian state of Kazakhstan say they have killed dozens of anti-government rioters in the main city, Almaty.

They moved in after protesters tried to take control of police stations in the city, a police spokeswoman said.

Twelve members of the security forces have been killed and 353 injured in the unrest, sparked by a doubling in the cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

 

Russia is sending in troops at the request of the Kazakh president.

They will be deployed to help “stabilise” the country, which is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) along with Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

The CSTO confirmed Russian paratroopers were being dispatched as peacekeepers, with advance units already deployed.

Protests began on Sunday when the government lifted its price cap on LPG, which many people use to fuel their cars, but the unrest has since spread to include political grievances.

Presentational grey line
Kazakhstan: The basics
Where is it? Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia to the north and China to the east. It is a huge country the size of Western Europe, dwarfing in land mass the other former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

Why does it matter? It has vast mineral resources, with 3% of global oil reserves and important coal and gas sectors. A mainly Muslim republic with a large Russian minority, it has largely escaped the civil strife seen in other parts of Central Asia.

Why is it making the news? Fuel riots have rocked the government, resulting in resignations at the top and a bloody crackdown on protesters.

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