OIC calls for restraint, end to violence in Kazakhstan
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called for the cessation of violence in Kazakhstan, where massive protests have been staged against rising fuel prices, News.Az reports citing Anadolu Agency.
The top Muslim body in a written statement expressed grave concern over the developments taking place in the Central Asian country and sadness over the acts of violence that have caused dozens of deaths and damage to public property.
Calling on the Kazakh people to practice restraint and for an end to acts of violence, the organization also affirmed its solidarity with the Kazakh government in preserving peace, security and stability.
Kazakh security forces said earlier that dozens of protesters died as they attempted to take over government buildings in Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest metropolis.
The situation is reportedly under control in the cities of Shymkent near the border with Uzbekistan and Aktau located on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also imposed a curfew in Almaty, where thousands of people had taken to the streets.
The protests began in western Kazakhstan on Jan. 2 over an increase in prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and later spread to other parts of the country.
To ensure public safety, a state of emergency was declared in Almaty and the oil-rich Mangystau region.
Tokayev also approved the resignation of the government.
He later requested help from the Russian-led military alliance the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which agreed to send an unspecified number of peacekeepers.