Kazakh authorities raise death toll to 225 in days of violent unrest
Kazakh media reports say that according to Kazakhstan authorities, deadly violence in Kazakhstan that began with peaceful protests over energy prices killed 225 people.
“In total, there were 4578 victims throughout the country; 4,353 of them have been wounded, including 3,393 representatives of power-wielding structures. During the state of emergency, the bodies of 225 people were delivered to morgues, of which 19 were law enforcement officers and military personnel. Unfortunately, civilians have also become victims of acts of terrorism,” Serik Shalabayev, the head of the Criminal Service at the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Kazakhstan, told a briefing on January 15, according to tengrinews.kz.
Asel Artakshinova, a spokeswoman for the Health Ministry of Kazakhstan, said more than 2,600 people sought treatment at hospitals, with 67 currently in a serious condition.
“Of those 225 killed, 175 died in medical facilities,” she added.
Kazakhstan authorities had previously acknowledged fewer than 50 deaths, 26 “armed criminals” and 18 security officers in the conflict that exposed infighting at the very top of the government.
A higher death toll of 164 that appeared on an official Telegram channel last week was quickly retracted.
The government has blamed the violence on bandits and international “terrorists” who they said hijacked the protests that saw the epicenter of unrest move from the west to the country’s largest city, Almaty.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that all of its planes carrying troops had returned.
As it had been reported earlier, peacekeepers of Armenia, Belarus, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan left Kazakhstan on January 14.
Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev turned to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) for help on January 5.