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The president of Kazakhstan claims he gave order to ‘open fire with lethal force’

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Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kazakhstan’s president, has claimed that he personally ordered security forces and the army to “open fire with lethal force” on demonstrators he described as “bandits and terrorists.”

Tokayev stated in an uncompromising speech on Friday that lethal force would continue to be used against violent demonstrators without notice, and that “so-called free media sources” were to blame for provoking disturbance.

Hundreds of protestors, as well as 18 police and security personnel, were slain in the violence, according to authorities. The numbers could climb. According to data from the interior ministry, almost 3,000 persons have been detained.

The protests were spurred this week by a sharp increase in fuel costs, as well as long-simmering dissatisfaction with the country’s political and economic circumstances.