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Unrest flares in Kazakhstan's oil region

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Unrest flares in Kazakhstan's oil region


Hundreds of protesters confronted riot police in the Kazakh city of Aktau as violence between striking oil workers and the authorities spread.

A heavy police presence controlled the crowds who were complaining over the deaths of at least 15 fellow workers who died in clashes on Friday when witnesses say police opened fire.

One protester said “Right now blood is being spilled in the city of Zhanaozen, and in Shetpe, and for what? Only because people demand better pay.”

The unrest started in Zhanaozen and has now flared in several other cities. It is the worst to hit Kazakhstan since it gained independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

While the government admits 15 people died in Friday’s clashes, Human Rights Watch claims the death toll was far higher. Both the UN and the European Union have voiced concern.

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