Peacekeepers from Russia, Belarus arrive in Kazakhstan as protesters behead law-enforcers

Kazakhstan riots escalate; beheadings reported

Aircraft of Russian Aerospace Forces have delivered first units of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to Kazakhstan, the Russian Ministry of Defense said, TASS reports.

Five Ilyushin Il-76 planes with peacekeepers on board flew to Kazakhstan from the territory of Belarus, RBC reports with reference to sources close to the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan also sent their military men to Kazakhstan.

Earlier, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said that one should not give Kazakhstan away. In his opinion, the crisis in the country has been purposefully planned. Lukashenko urged the participants in the riots to enter into a constructive dialogue with the authorities, to kneel down and apologize to the military in order to smooth out the social division.

Armenia will send about 70 troops to Kazakhstan, who will join the CSTO peacekeeping contingent. The Armenian peacekeepers will serve to protect strategic objects against the background of the massive riots in the republic.

The riots in Kazakhstan sparked on January 2, after prices on fuel saw a twofold increase. The protests swiftly escalated into massive riots, in which people were demanding the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, should leave politics, new elections be held and the parliament be dissolved. President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev appealed to the Collective Security Treaty Organisation for help.

As a result of the protests in Kazakhstan, as many as 18 security officials were killed, 748 were wounded, RIA Novosti reports, citing data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

As many as 2,298 people were detained during the riots.

Earlier it was reported that 13 law-enforcers were killed in the riots. The bodies of two dead security officers were found decapitated. The injuries found on the bodies of the victims indicated the participation of terrorist and extremist gangs in the riots in Almaty.

During the riots in Almaty, as many as 120 shops, 180 cafes and 100 small businesses were pogromized and looted.

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