Russian paratroops flown to Kazakhstan to quash armed uprising

The Kremlin-led alliance Thursday deployed troops to Kazakhstan after local security forces killed dozens of protesters in the worst unrest since the fall of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. Contingents from Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan joined the Russians, after a night of battles in central Almaty as security forces defended government buildings from assault by the protesters. Videos on social media on Thursday showed pillaged shops and burned buildings in Almaty, automatic gunfire in the streets and residents screaming in fear. The uprising, sparked by rising fuel prices, has forced the resignation of the government. But authoritarian president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, handpicked successor to Nursultan Nazarbayev, vows to stay in office after calling on Moscow for support. A state of emergency was declared with an overnight curfew, restrictions on movements and ban of mass gatherings.

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