Last week's protests sparked by fuel prices killed 164 people including 16 members of the police or national guard, with some 5,800 people detained, authorities say.

Kazakhstan says order has been restored in the Central Asian country and that the government has regained control of all buildings that were taken over by the protesters.
Kazakhstan says order has been restored in the Central Asian country and that the government has regained control of all buildings that were taken over by the protesters. (AP)

Kazakhstan authorities have said that 164 people, including a 4-year-old girl, were killed in a week of protests that marked the worst unrest since the former Soviet republic gained independence 30 years ago.

The office of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Sunday that order has been restored in the Central Asian country and that the government has regained control of all buildings that were taken over by the protesters and "armed gangs."

Some of the buildings were set on fire.

Sporadic gunfire was heard on Sunday in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan, according to the Russian TV station Mir-24, but it was unclear whether those were warning shots by law enforcement. 

The demonstrations, which began in the western part of Kazakhstan, began on January 2 over a sharp rise in fuel prices and spread throughout the country. They prompted a Russia-led military alliance to send troops to the country.

READ MORE: Explained: What's behind the violent unrest in oil-rich Kazakhstan?

Thousands detained

About 5,800 people were detained during the unrest, Tokayev's office said.

The death toll of 164, reported by the state news channel Khabar-24 and citing the Health Ministry, was a significant increase from previously announced totals. 

It was unclear if that number referred only to civilians or if law enforcement deaths were included. Kazakh authorities said earlier on Sunday that 16 members of the police or national guard had been killed.

The ministry said 103 of the deaths occurred in Almaty, and Kazakhstan's ombudswoman for children's rights said three of those killed were minors, including a 4-year-old girl.

The ministry earlier reported more than 2,200 people sought treatment for injuries, and the Interior Ministry said about 1,300 security officers were injured.

Almaty's airport, which had been taken over by protesters last week, remained closed but was expected to resume operations on Monday.

READ MORE: Kazakhstan: Situation stabilises after week of violent riots

'Foreign nationals' detained 

Tokayev said the demonstrations were instigated by "terrorists" with foreign backing, although the protests have shown no obvious leaders or organisation. 

Sunday's statement from his office said the detentions included "a sizable number of foreign nationals," but gave no details.

It was unclear how many of those detained remained in custody.

The former head of Kazakhstan’s counterintelligence and anti-terrorism agency has been arrested on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. The arrest of Karim Masimov, which was announced on Saturday, came just days after he was removed as head of the National Security Committee by Tokayev.

READ MORE: Oil prices surge over Kazakhstan unrest

Source: AP