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Kazakh official says riots were terrorist attack seeking government ouster

NUR-SULTAN, January 10. /TASS/. Kazakhstan’s State Secretary Yerlan Karin on Monday said the recent riots were an attack by terrorists that possibly attempted a coup.

“I think we encountered a hybrid terrorist attack on Kazakhstan that, as its end goal, sought general destabilization and possibly a coup,” he said on Khabar 24 television.

The country’s special services will give an answer as to who inspired the attack, he said.

The official rejected comparisons with “color revolutions or velvet revolutions,” saying the government in Kazakhstan was too strong to succumb to such developments.

Instead, he said the unrest represented a “conspiracy of internal and certain external forces” as the terrorists included Kazakh and foreign nationals.

Protests erupted in several Kazakh cities on January 2, escalating into mass riots with government buildings getting ransacked in several cities a few days later. The ensuing violence left thousands of people injured, with fatalities also being reported. Subsequently, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested assistance from the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization and the bloc deployed peacekeepers to Kazakhstan. Law and order were generally restored to all of the country’s regions on January 7, Kazakh authorities said. January 10 has been declared a nationwide day of mourning.

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