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Russia completes Kazakhstan pullout, forces on high alert

  • 19 Jan 2022

Kazakhstan security forces have deployed on several places in downtown of Kazakhstan's biggest city Almaty amid fresh protests calls.

The oil-rich Central Asian nation was shaken this month by the worst bout of violence in its post-Soviet history during which at least 225 people were killed, most of them in Almaty. ( Reuters )

A Russia-led military contingent has completed its withdrawal from Kazakhstan after unprecedented clashes in the Central Asian state. 

"The peacekeeping operation carried out in accordance with the decision of the CSTO Collective Security Council on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan has been completed," Russia's Andrei Serdyukov, who headed the mission of the six-member military bloc led by Moscow, told Russian agencies on Wednesday.

Security forces blocked several downtown streets and cordoned off one of the squares in Kazakhstan's biggest city Almaty as an opposition group planned to stage protests, a Reuters news agency correspondent reported from the scene.

The oil-rich Central Asian nation was shaken this month by the worst bout of violence in its post-Soviet history during which at least 225 people were killed, most of them in Almaty.

On Wednesday, a group led by Mukhtar Ablyazov, a former Kazakh banker turned government critic in exile, said it would hold protests outside local government buildings in major cities throughout the country of 19 million.

A Kazakh court has ruled Ablyazov's political movement, Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan, was extremist.

Police in Almaty said they were carrying out an "anti-terrorist operation".

READ MORE: Kazakhstan lifts state of emergency after deadly unrest

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