Shots heard as troops, protesters clash on Almaty main square in Kazakhstan

Troops and protesters clashed in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, on Thursday, with police saying dozens of riots had been “eliminated” as they tried to storm their offices.

Several armored personnel carriers and dozens of troops entered the main square of Almaty on Thursday morning, where hundreds of people protested against the government for the third day, Reuters correspondents of the scene reported.

Gunshots were heard as troops approached the crowd, according to Reuters witnesses, but the situation on the square has been calm since then.

Around Kazakhstan, protests in the first instance killed by a fuel price increase eight police and national guard troops on Tuesday and Wednesday, prompting the Kazakh president to call for help from a Russian-led security alliance, which offered to send peacekeepers.

State television reported on Thursday that the National Bank of Kazakhstan had decided to stop the work of banks in the country for the safety of its workers. The internet in the country is down for the most part.

During a protest in Almaty on Wednesday, smoke came from the town hall. News outlets in Kazakhstan reported that protesters protesting against rising fuel prices in the mayor’s office broke and flames were seen coming from inside. (Yan Blagov / The Associated)

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