Kazakhstan’s President says he has ordered security forces to “fire without warning” amid unrest across the country.
In an address to the nation President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also said “20,000 bandits” had attacked the main city of Almaty, the epicenter of protests sparked by a fuel price hike.
He blamed foreign-trained “terrorists.”
The interior ministry says 26 “armed criminals” and 18 security officers have been killed so far in the unrest.
In a televised address, Mr Tokayev dismissed calls to hold talks with protesters as “nonsense”, saying: “What kind of talks can we hold with criminals and murderers?”
“We had to deal with armed and well-prepared bandits, local as well as foreign. More precisely, with terrorists. So we have to destroy them, this will be done soon,” he said.