Sunday, 18 December 2011

15 dead as Kazakh workers fight cops

AT LEAST 15 people have been killed and 70 injured as Kazakh police opened on unarmed rebel oil workers and their supporters in the west of the country.

The uprising is now being further fuelled by anger at the brutal methods deployed by the state to attack the demonstrations calling for higher wages.

Reports the New York Times: "On Saturday, several hundred protesters blocked railroad tracks in Shetpe, a town north of Zhanaozen, to protest the treatment of the other activists. The police opened fire, killing one person and wounding about a dozen more.

"Kazakh authorities said that the police had made protracted efforts to persuade the protesters to withdraw from the railroad tracks but that '50 hooligans' refused to do so.

"Only after a crowd pelted the police with stones and Molotov cocktails and set a locomotive and the municipal Christmas tree on fire did the police begin to fire in the air and at demonstrators’ legs, the prosecutor’s office said. Five police officers were injured, the statement said.

"An Associated Press reporter who arrived in Shetpe on Sunday said the town was flooded with police officers, some of whom tried to restrict the movement of visiting journalists.

"Another group of oil workers held a protest on Sunday in front of the municipal administration building of Aktau, the regional capital, unfurling a long banner that read 'Do not shoot at your people'.”

Keep up to date with the global insurrection - follow VM on Twitter.