Kazakhstan’s interior ministry says 26 ‘armed criminals’ killed in unrest

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Kazakhstan’s interior ministry said Friday that 26 “armed criminals” had been killed and 18 wounded after days of unrest.

It said in a statement that all of Kazakhstan’s regions had been “freed and taken under increased protection,” with 70 checkpoints set up around the country.

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Meanwhile, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Friday that constitutional order had mostly been restored in the Central Asian country hit by unrest this week, his office quoted him as saying in a statement.

“An anti-terrorist operation has been launched. The forces of law and order are working hard. Constitutional order has largely been restored in all regions of the country,” Tokayev said.

On Thursday, A Moscow-led military alliance said it had sent its first troops to Kazakhstan after its government requested help to quell mounting unrest.

“Peacekeeping forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization were sent to the Republic of Kazakhstan for a limited time to stabilize and normalize the situation,” the CSTO secretariat said in a statement posted by Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

It said the deployment included units of the armed forces of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, the five other members with Kazakhstan of the Moscow-dominated CSTO.

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