At least 10 people were killed Friday in Zhanaozen city of Kazakhstan after clashes erupted between oil workers and police during independence day celebrations, an official said.
According to prosecutor-general Askhat Daulbayev, the violent clashes broke out in the central square when a group of men attacked police officers, burned nearby buildings and several cars, Xinhua reported.
‘The police demanded to stop the riots, but the hooligans assaulted officers and tried to seize their weapons. They were using cold steel and firearms,’ the prosecutor-general said.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev sent a task force led by the interior minister to stop the riots, to put to justice their organisers and to restore law and order in the city, he added.
The attackers were employees of the state-run energy company, who have staged strikes for about six months seeking better salaries, local media reported.