Saule, a 58-year-old construction worker who participated in the protests, said she was shocked when security forces opened fire on protesters.

“We saw dead people,” he said. “Suddenly, they killed ten people,” she added, still stunned by the scene.

At night, social networks were filled with videos in which screams and bursts of automatic weapons are heard and people are seen fleeing, after the authorities launched an operation that they described as “anti-terrorism.”

According to official sources cited by Russian news agencies and media, at least 18 members of the security forces were killed and 748 injured in the riots across the country and “dozens” of protesters perished and more than 1,000 injured.

Two members of the security forces were “beheaded”, according to reports.

Outrage at corruption

Kazakhstan, a country rich in natural resources, was considered one of the most stable in Central Asia. From 1989 to 2019, he was under the rule of President Nursultán Nazarbáyevm who transmitted power that year to Kassym Jomart Tokayev, considered his faithful disciple.

Although the current president promised reforms, the country has seen little change since he came to power.

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The protesters questioned by AFP explained that the outrage was brewing for a long time and in recent days in the protests slogans such as “Out with the old man!” Were heard, in reference to Nazarbayev, 81 years old. This type of demonstration was inconceivable until recently.