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At least 18 security officers killed in protests in Kazakhstan

At least 18 security officers have died during ongoing violence in Kazakhstan stemming from protests over rising fuel prices, the Interior Ministry announced Thursday.

The ministry said 2,298 people have been detained amid the demonstrations and 748 security personnel have been injured.

Violent clashes were occasionally reported in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest metropolis, as security forces attempted to clear government buildings.

Protesters are trying to take over administrative buildings, police stations and a television tower in the nation’s commercial capital.

Earlier, Kazakh security forces said dozens of protesters died in the ongoing unrest as they attempted to take over government buildings in Almaty.

The situation is reportedly under control in the cities of Shymkent near the border with Uzbekistan and Aktau located on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also imposed a curfew in Almaty, where thousands of people had taken to the streets.

The protests began in western Kazakhstan on Jan. 2 over an increase in prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and later spread to other parts of the country.

To ensure public safety, a state of emergency was declared in Almaty and the oil-rich Mangystau region.

Tokayev also approved the resignation of the government.

He later requested help from the Russian-led military alliance the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which agreed to send an unspecified number of peacekeepers.

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