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ASTANA, December 18 (Itar-Tass) — The situation in the Mangistauskaya Region in western Kazakhstan is stable on the whole, Itar-Tass learnt from adviser to head of the regional administration Zhanna Oishibayeva.
In the adviser’s words, “the situation is under control” wherever disorders took place or was unquiet these days.
According to Oishibayeva, “there are very many gutted cars in the streets in Zhanaozen, the administration buildings of the Kazmunaigaz Company, a hotel and shops were burnt down, but the situation is controlled by police”.
“No new disquieting information was received” from Shetpe where protesters blocked railway traffic on Saturday and organized pogroms,” Oishibayeva said by telephone.
People gathered again on Sunday in Aktau in the square, as was the case on Saturday. “There are 50 of them. Police officers are also in the square; they monitor the situation,” Oishibayeva added. She explained that on Saturday people in the square in Aktau demanded nothing and made no statements.
“They were interested in information what is going on, indeed, in Zhanaozen. When the head of the regional administration talked with them and explained the situation, they dispersed,” she said.
Oishibayeva refuted information that two major oil-fields in the region – Karazhanbas and Kalamkas – stopped their work over events in Zhanaozen. Some Kazakh mass media spread this information earlier. “This information is groundless,” said the adviser to the head of the regional administration.
Disorders in Zhanaosen started last Friday in a square where festive events took place on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the republican independence. According to official information, police used firearms; as a result of rioting, 11 people died in the city, while 86 were wounded, including six police officers.
According to the Prosecutor-General’s Office, “a group of people with calls to back rioters in Zhanaosen sealed off on Saturday railway traffic at the Shetpe rail station, Mangistauskaya Region, set fire to a diesel engine and hurled incendiary bottles to wagons”. Outrages continued in the town: rowdies set fire to a Christmas tree and pelted shop show windows and cars with stones.
“Taking into account the fact that actions by rioters threatened the life and health of civilians and law enforcers, policemen were forced to use firearms,” the Prosecutor-General’s Office reported. As a result, one man died and at least 11 were wounded.
According to data of TV stations, 12 people died and over 100 were hospitalized as a result of disorders in the Mangistauskaya Region.
Spokesman of the prosecutor’s office Nurdaulet Suindikov said on Saturday that information comes from several cities that calls are spreading to display solidarity and back the movement in Zhanaozen “over misunderstanding and poor information on developments”.