Violent protests broke out in Kazakhstan’s most populated city on Wednesday over fuel prices that resulted in President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declaring a state of emergency as government buildings were attacked across Almaty.
Reuters reported that up to 100 security officers were injured in clashes that involved authorities using stun grenades and tear gas to break up about 1,000 or so demonstrators.
Beginning in the new year, the price of liquefied gas, which is widely used for cooking and heating, doubled to 120 tenge ($0.27) per liter, a significant increase in the country where the minimum wage is 42,500 tenge ($98) a month. Tokayev accepted the government’s resignation, but the move seemed to do little to calm the crowds.
A Kazakh blogger took to Instagram to show a fire at the Almaty’s mayor’s office with gunshots ringing out in the background, according to Reuters.
“Dear compatriots, I urge you to show prudence and not succumb to provocations from within and from without, to the euphoria of rallies and permissiveness,” Tokayev said in a video address, according to the New York Times. “Calls to attack civilian and military offices are completely illegal. This is a crime that comes with a punishment.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report