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03 October 2023

Kazakhstan lifts state of emergency after riots


Kazakhstan lifted a state of emergency in its riot-torn Caspian Sea town of Zhanaozen, where clashes between striking oil workers and police left at least 16 dead last month.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered the state of emergency to last until 7 a.m. local time Tuesday. He announced Friday it would not be extended because the "situation had taken a normal course."

The violence in Zhanaozen and the wider Mangistau region on the Caspian Sea, where the Central Asian country pumps much of its oil, was the bloodiest in Kazakhstan's post-Soviet history.

Strongman Nazarbayev initially blamed the bloodshed on militants, but he later sacked several energy executives and even his son-in-law Timur Kulibayev, who headed a state holding firm with stakes in the companies hit by strikes.