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Situation in western Kazakhstan stable

December 20, 2011, 11:11 UTC+3

No serious offences have been put on record in Zhanaozen and the village of Shetpe in the past 24 hours

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ASTANA, December 20 (Itar-Tass) — Kazakh prosecutors have said the situation in the west of the republic where people were killed in mass disturbancies is now stable. "The current situation in the towns of Zhanaozen and Aktau and the village of Shetpe, as well as in the whole region, is stable and under control of law-enforcement bodies," the Prosecutor General's Office reported on Tuesday.

The commandant's office in Zhanaozen, together with police, continues to operate under the state of emergency, introduced by presidential degree.

According to the Prosecutor General's Office, no serious offences have been put on record in Zhanaozen and the village of Shetpe in the past 24 hours.

Prosecutors said three persons had been brought to Zhanaozen's commandant's office over curfew violation.

The trio were later set free, after police warned them that they would be held responsible for reoffending.

A government commission on settling socio-economic, humanitarian and other problems related to the riots continues to work in the region. A group of investigators is looking for the organizers and activists of the mass disturbances, as well as looters.

The Prosecutor General's latest reports said 70 people had been detained in Zhanaozen for suspicions of involvement in mass disturbances, and another four in Shetpe.

Mangistau region police chief, Zhanaozen commandant Amanzhol Kabylov said "all the social infrastructure facilities will be 100-percent functional within the next few days."

"The town must return to normal life, the sooner the better," Kabylov said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the government will meet in Astana over funding to rebuild Zhanaozen. The fund-raising campaign for the victims of the riots has been launched by the Association of the republic's companies in the oil and gas and energy sector. A special account has been opened for the purpose.

Mass disturbances in Zhanaozen occurred on Friday, December 16. Fourteen people died and dozens were injured. Forty-six buildings burnt down. The president introduced a state of emergency in the town on December 17.

Curfew in Zhanaozen will be effective until January 5. The authorities restricted traffic, prohibited rallies and limited taking videos and photos and the use of copying equipment.

At the Shetpe railway station, police had to use service weapons to stop a criminal group which had blocked railway passenger and freight traffic. One person was killed.

The town of Atkau reported several days of disturbances in the square in front of the building of the regional administration. Among the protesters were personnel of the Karazhanbasmunai enterprise (according to the original version, it is the workers of this oil producing company that actively participated in the Zhanaozen riots), as well as young people aged 20 to 30.

The regional administration assured the situation was under control and that "no provocations on the part of the protesters in the square have been observed yet."



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