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Mass brawl occurs in southern Kazakhstan

EPA-EFE/IGOR KOVALENKO
Firefighters douse the remaining fire in burnt houses and property in the village of Blas - Batyr, after ethnic clashes between Kazakhs and Dungans 250 kilometres from Almaty, Kazakhstan, 8 February 2020.

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Ten people died and hundreds were injured as a result of an interethnic conflict between Dungans, a group of ethnic Chinese professing Islam and Kazakhs in two villages in southern Kazakhstan, an NE correspondent reported.
As a result of the mass brawl, several dozen private houses, retail outlets, and cars were damaged and burned. According to the latest data, 50 people were hospitalised in clinics.
On 7 February, on the outskirts of the village Ma -san- chi (95% of inhabitants are Dyngans nationality), in the Kordai District, Zhambyl region in southern Kazakhstan near Kyrgyzstan border, a fight took place between residents. It is assessed that several dozen people took part. As a result, members of the Kordai police department arrived at the scene.
At the same time, provocateurs and eyewitnesses of the incident filmed what was happening, and using messaging and social networks urged citizens to carry out illegal actions.
This led to an escalation and an increase in the number of participants in the fight. As a result, roughly 300 people arrived from neighbouring settlements.
In order to restore public order, additional police units were sent to the village of Masanchi. Participants in the fight actively resisted police officers and hooligans utilised metal objects, stones and firearms. Later, neighbouring villages were also affected by the conflict.
During the riots, several dozen participants received injuries and gunshot wounds. Unfortunately, eight people died from injuries they sustained.
During the performance of their official duties to suppress illegal actions, police officers received various injuries, including two gunshot wounds.
As a result of the hooligans’ actions, a number of private houses, objects of trade and cars were damaged, due to arson.
47 people have been detained and taken to the police. Two hunting rifles were also seized. Pre-trial investigations are being conducted under Article 272 (Organization and participation in riots) and under Article 99 (Murder) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
To ensure public safety within the conflict zone, police officers and military personnel of the National Guard of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan have been deployed. The situation has now been stabilised and is under control.
On behalf of Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a government commission has been created to eliminate the consequences of the events in the Kordai region, this will be chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister.
The Commission has also been entrusted with ensuring the prompt resolution of issues of a socio-economic and humanitarian nature. All the families of the deceased and wounded will receive the necessary assistance. The Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, as well as the elders of these villages, have joined the work of the commission.
The General Prosecutor has taken special control of the investigation of the events in the Kordai region, and an interdepartmental investigative and operational group has been created.
The National Security Committee and the General Prosecutor’s Office have begun the necessary investigative measures. Work is underway to bring to justice on those who call for ethnic hatred, spreading provocative rumours and misinformation.
All those guilty of disturbing public order will be held accountable in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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