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Kazakh president says he has given orders to shoot to kill ‘terrorists’

Up to 20,000 “bandits” had attacked
the biggest city Almaty and had been destroying state property, Tokayev said in
a televised address after a week when protests over fuel prices exploded into a
countrywide wave of unrest.

He said as part of the
“counter-terrorist” operation, he had ordered law enforcement
agencies and the army “to shoot to kill without warning.”

“The militants have not laid down their
arms, they continue to commit crimes or are preparing for them. The fight
against them must be pursued to the end. Whoever does not surrender will be
destroyed,” Tokayev said on state television.

He dismissed calls to hold talks with protesters.

“What stupidity. What kind of talks can
we hold with criminal and murderers?” he said.

“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”.

Tokayev thanked Russian President Vladimir
Putin and the leaders of China, Uzbekistan and Turkey for their assistance.

He said peacekeeping forces sent from Russia
and neighbouring states had arrived on Kazakhstan’s request and were in the
country on a temporary basis to ensure security.

It was critically important to understand why
the state had “slept through the underground preparation of terrorist
attacks, of militant sleeper cells”, Tokayev added.

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