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Troops ordered to fire without warning Kazakhstan

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Troops ordered to fire without warning Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan’s authoritarian leader says he has ordered security forces to “fire without warning”, amid a violent crackdown on anti-government protests.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also said “20,000 bandits” had attacked the main city of Almaty, the epicentre of protests sparked by a fuel price hike.

He has blamed foreign-trained “terrorists”, without giving evidence.

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The interior ministry says 26 “armed criminals” and 18 security officers have been killed so far in the unrest.

In a televised address, Mr Tokayev dismissed calls to hold talks with protesters as “nonsense”, saying: “What kind of talks can we hold with criminals and murderers?”

“We had to deal with armed and well-prepared bandits, local as well as foreign. More precisely, with terrorists. So we have to destroy them, this will be done soon,” he said.

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Opposition groups have rejected the authorities’ accusations of terrorism.

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