ASTANA, December 17 (Itar-Tass) —— Ten people were killed and 75 hospitalized in mass unrest in the oil town of Zhanaozen in Mangystau region of Kazakhstan close to the Caspian Sea coast, Prosecutor General Askhat Daulbayev said late on Friday.
He blamed “criminal actions of a group of people” for the riots and said “the citizens who gathered in downtown square to celebrate the 20th anniversary of independence were attacked by a group of hooligans” on Friday.
“They rudely violated public order and attacked policemen, turned over the New Year tree, destroyed the stage and the yurt erected for the holiday, and set a police bus on fire,” the general prosecutor said adding the hooligans began to beat people around and crash parked cars. He did not specify how many attackers provoked riots.
He said several policemen were hospitalized after the attackers attempted to seize guns from them. They used knives in the attack.
The city administration building, hotels, the office of Uzenmunaigaz Company were burned down in the riots, as well as cars and nearby ATMs.
Daulbayev said Interior minister Kamukhanbet Kasymov had left for Zhanaozen to investigate the riots and establish order in the town.
The prosecutor general warned riot organizers of criminal responsibility and called to stop unlawful actions.