Kazakh President Issues “Shoot To Kill Without Warning” Order As Armed Insurgent Groups Form
Kazakhstan’s president as well as international news wires are saying that Kazakh security forces have taken control of most of the city streets in Almaty, where days of riots have raged and central government buildings have been torched. Heavy military vehicles and armaments have also been seen deployed across other major cities.
This after President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev ordered his security forces to “shoot to kill without warning” – according to Reuters and state media. He reiterated in a Friday televised address that the demonstrators and rioters will be “destroyed” as prior riot control measures have moved to “counterterrorist” operations.
An estimated 3,000 Russian troops are said to be on the ground as part of a joint peace-keeping mission authorized by Russian-led the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). More may be on the way.
Despite the claim that order is slowly being restored, there have still been widespread reports of gunshots ringing out over central city squares and streets, following dramatic images of the past few days showing pitched gun battles. Al Jazeera reports Friday:
The interior ministry said that 26 “armed criminals” had been “liquidated” and more than 3,000 detained since last weekend, while 18 police and national guard service members had also been killed.
Gunshots could be heard on Friday morning near the central square in the largest city, Almaty, where troops and protesters battled on previous days.