8 killed and dozens injured in riots in Kazakhstan

 Eight people were killed and dozens more injured in a series of riots in the southern province of Gambel, authorities in Kazakhstan announced Saturday.

Interior Minister Yerlan Torgombayev said that 49 people were arrested following clashes in several villages in an area near the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyz border.

President Kassem Gomart Tokayev has ordered an investigation into the outbreak of violence, which reportedly involved hundreds of people who also damaged dozens of homes and cars.

This region includes Muslims of Chinese descent, who are known as the "Shaan Dongan", which raises suspicions that tensions between ethnic groups led to the clashes that started on Friday.

"The most important thing now is to calm the people down," Tokayev said in a letter, adding that justice will be applied to anyone spreading rumors and misinformation or inciting hatred between different groups.

Turgombayev mentioned that 40 people were wounded, and said that two policemen were shot.

It is noteworthy that Kazakhstan, located in central Asia, is a country where poverty is widespread, although it is rich in oil.

 

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