Friday, 16 December 2011

Video - oil workers riot in Kazakhstan


OIL workers in the south of Kazakhstan have rioted and torched local government offices, an oil company building and a hotel.

Thousands of protesters demanding higher wages took to the streets in the town of Zhanaozen as the state was marking the 20th anniversary of its independence from the USSR on Friday, December 16.

Russian news agency ITAR-TASS said the protesters set fire to the offices of the town administration, the Ozenmuinagaz oil company and the nearby Hotel Aruana. The crowd also prevented firemen from attending the fires. The source said that, as of Friday afternoon, the police could not contain the unrest.

RT adds: "Later in the day Kazakhstan’s prosecutor general said that 10 people have died in the Zhanaozen unrest and many more wounded, including police officers. The official also confirmed that three buildings were burnt down, as well as several cars and a police bus. The crowd looted some ATMs, the prosecutor said."

"Russian-language blogs described the situation in Zhanaozen as much more dramatic, saying the police opened fire at protestors, killing 70 and wounding over 500 people. Bloggers also said that the authorities deployed 1,500 marines to the town in bid to suppress the riot."

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