ALMATY (Sputnik) – The unrest that swept over Kazakhstan in early January left 149 civilians and 11 law enforcers dead in the city of Almaty, the head of the city police department, Kanat Taimerdenov, said Sunday.”Eleven officers of law enforcement agencies and 149 civilians,” Taimerdenov told a briefing when asked about the death toll.During the several days that Almaty was shaken up by riots, there were seven attacks on the city’s morgues, and rioters stole 41 bodies of their accomplices, Taimerdenov said.Mass protests began with people in the west of the country rallying against a steep hike in fuel price. The unrest then spread to other areas, including the country’s former capital of Almaty in the south of Kazakhstan. Protests turned violent in Almaty —there was looting and attacks on government offices.
The government declared a state of emergency until January 19. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev requested help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which sent peacekeepers into Kazakhstan. The CSTO mission wrapped up earlier this week and peacekeepers began to withdraw on Thursday.