Authorities in Kazakhstan say 10 people have been killed in clashes between police and protesters, thought to be sacked oil workers.
Video footage from an independent TV channel shows the early stages of the trouble in the western city of Zhanaozen.
The demonstrators are said to have attacked a government building and an oil company headquarters.
The violence has marred the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence from the Soviet Union.
State television did not mention the clashes, showing only festivities.
The country’s prosecutor-general described the protesters as “hooligans” who had attacked peaceful civilians, burned cars and destroyed other property.
Earlier this year there was a three-month strike and nearly a thousand gas workers were sacked.
Violent demonstrations are rare in Kazakhstan, where President Nazarbayev has ruled with a firm grip for two decades.