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Armed protesters demolishing Kazakh president’s Almaty residence

The law enforcers left the building after the shootout

ALMATY, January 5. /TASS/. Protesters in Almaty, many of whom are armed with carabines, rifles and grenades, are demolishing the presidential residence, a TASS correspondent reported.

The residence has been engulfed by smoke, and nearby buildings are on fire. The law enforcers left the building after the shootout.

Tens of people participating in protests in Almaty have begun moving towards the city’s airport.

A group of several dozen protesters has begun moving from the square towards the airport. A walk to the city’s airport will take about four hours. No law-enforcers can be seen on the streets adjacent to the square. There are also no special anti-riot vehicles on the road leading to the airport so far.

Protests have been raging in Kazakhstan for the fourth day in a row. On January 2, crowds took to the streets in the cities of Zhanaozen and Aktau in the Mangistau region in the country’s southwest, protesting against fuel price hikes. Two days later, riots erupted in Almaty (in the country’s southeast) where police used stun grenades to disperse crowds and also in other cities, in particular, in Atyrau and Aktobe (in the west), Uralsk (in the northwest), Taraz, Shymkent and Kyzylorda (in the south), Karaganda (in the northeast) and even in the capital of Nur-Sultan.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has declared a state of emergency in the Mangistau and Almaty regions and also in Almaty and Nur-Sultan for two weeks. On January 5, the head of the Kazakh state dismissed the government. Its members continue discharging their duties until a new Cabinet is approved.