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the violent turmoil in kazakhstan's president has ordered security forces to "shoot to kill without warning" as a crackdown on protesters escalates dramatically.

In a televised address to the nation, he said : "Those who don't surrender will be eliminated."

the president has called on a russia-led military alliance have arrived.

Kazakhstan : Dozens of protesters killed and security forces decapitated as Russia-led troops fly in for 'peacekeeping' mission Troops from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation- an alliance of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan- have been deployed.

Around 2,500 peacekeepers are being sent- but that could increase, the alliance's general secretary told Russia's RIA news agency.

In his address, Mr Tokayev also thanked President Vladimir Putin as well as the leaders of China, Uzbekistan and Turkey for their assistance in quelling the uprising.

he criticised calls for talks with the protesters made by some other countries as "nonsense", adding : "what negotiations can be held with criminals?

two members of the police and security forces were dead.

Kazakhstan has been enduring the most violent street protests since the country gained independence three decades ago.

Unrest morphed after price cap on gas removed The unrest was sparked in the oil-producing western province of Mangistau on Sunday after a cap on liquified petroleum gas- which many people use to power their cars- was removed, causing prices to double.

The mayor's office and presidential palace were set alight in Almaty on Wednesday, and the airport was temporarily seized, with ongoing battles between masses of protesters and police.

There were new battles reported on Thursday evening in Almaty's main square, occupied during the day by hundreds of troops and protesters.

Normality resumed in other parts of the country, with access to the internet being partially restored in the capital of Nur-Sultan.

Demonstrators angry at former leader Much of the protesters' anger is directed at former long-time leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, who quit in 2019 but remains powerful and whose family is believed to control much of the economy.

The chant of "Old man, go away !"

has been heard in videos, such as one from Aqtobe, in the country's west, where police fired water cannon and stun grenades.

Exxon Mobil and Chevron are among the multinationals that have energy projects in the country.

In return, western governments have, to an extent, turned a blind eye to civil rights abuses by the regime.

A former American diplomat, who served in central Asia, held that the situation "gives an opportunity for the Russians to show how easily they can have military influence in a country where the US has a lot of energy interests.

With the opposition to his rule growing, President Tokayev is now echoing Moscow's claims of a "foreign hand" behind the unrest.

we were dealing with armed and well-prepared bandits, both local and foreign," the president, kassym-jomart tokayev, declared on tv.

Safiya, a 23-year-old activist who did not want her surname made public, also claimed that the government was trying to portray the protests as an insurrection.

"These are false stories to justify the harsh action by the security forces," she said.

The former president has extensive connections with the UK.

Mr Nazarbayev's extended family owns luxury property worth around £330m in London, according to a Chatham House report.

And the causes behind the protests currently gripping the central Asian nation come into focus.

The residents of the western oil town of Zhanaozen came out on 2 January to demand lower fuel prices.

And so a more violent contingent has now stepped into the breach.

Eyewitnesses in Almaty who have managed to get the word out have talked of sustained exchanges of gunfire right in the centre of the city.

Dozens of people, including at least 18 law enforcement officers, have been killed.

The authorities on Friday described what was unfolding in Almaty as a sophisticated, well-prepared assault against Kazakhstan by an armed terrorist gang numbering in the thousands.

It was the "so-called free media" and outside actors who had abetted and instigated the unrest, he claimed.

After days of largely peaceful demonstrations across the vast country, government buildings have been stormed or set on fire in two cities and witnesses in Almaty have reported looting.

Mr Tokayev has now removed his predecessor as head of the country ’ s security council and replaced his government with an interim administration, but shows no sign of addressing more fundamental demands for political reform.

The west has limited influence, but is not without leverage.

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