Interfax-Ukraine

News about recent political developments in Ukraine, key Ukrainian economic news and major current events in the CIS and the rest of the world.

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Protesters burst into Almaty administration HQ, gunfire can be heard.

Demonstrators have burst into the Almaty administration building, and gunfire can be heard.

Protesters are breaking into the city administration HQ through doors and smashed windows, an Interfax correspondent reported. The sounds that can now be heard indicate that they are smashing equipment inside the building.

Policemen who tried to contain demonstrators storming the building are now trying to run away, but protesters are beating them up.

Gunfire can be heard.

Police patrol cars previously parked around the administration building have now left. Black smoke is billowing from the building's roof, the correspondent said.

Rallies against a sharp rise in liquefied gas prices first started in Zhanaozen, a city in the Mangistau region in western Kazakhstan, on January 2, then escalating into mass protests with economic and political demands across the country. Clashes between protesters and the police occurred in Almaty on January 4.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a decree early on Wednesday morning, introducing a state of emergency and a curfew, from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., in Almaty and the Mangistau and Almaty region until January 19.

The Kazakh government resigned in the early hours of Wednesday as well.

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