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Kazakhstan unrest: Fresh gunfire as president says order largely restored

Fresh gunshots have been heard in Kazakhstan's largest city, as the president claims order has been largely restored after a violent crackdown to days of anti-government demonstrations.

Reports said gunfire was heard near the main square of Almaty, the epicentre of protests sparked by a fuel price hike.

The interior ministry said 26 "armed criminals" and 18 security officers had been killed so far in the unrest.

Russian-led forces have arrived in the country at the president's request.

Internet access in the country is down and little independent information is coming out. Armoured personal carriers and troops were seen in the main square of Almaty on Friday, the Reuters news agency said.

More than 3,000 people have been arrested, according to the interior ministry, and local media said 70 checkpoints had been set up across the country.

In a statement on Friday, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said "constitutional order [had] largely been restored in all regions of the country" and that "local authorities [were] in control of the situation".

The president. who has blamed foreign-trained "terrorists" for the unrest without giving evidence, said the operations would continue until "the militants are completely eliminated".


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