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Kazakhstan calls on Russian-led alliance for help against ‘terrorists,’ amid mass-protests

Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev attends a meeting of presidents of ex-Soviet nations which are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, at Konstantin Palace in Strelna, outside St. Petersburg, Russia, December 28, 2021. (Yevgeny Biyatov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev attends a meeting of presidents of ex-Soviet nations which are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, at Konstantin Palace in Strelna, outside St. Petersburg, Russia, December 28, 2021. (Yevgeny Biyatov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev says he had appealed to a Moscow-backed security alliance for help quelling protests across the ex-Soviet nation that he said were led by “terrorists.”

“Today I appealed to the heads of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation) states to assist Kazakhstan in overcoming this terrorist threat,” he says on state television, adding that the “terrorist gangs” leading protests had “received extensive training abroad.”

Demonstrators stormed the mayor’s office in Almaty earlier in the day and attempted to break into the presidential residence, according to local news reports, as intensifying protests led the Central Asian country’s government to resign.

Kazakhstan also cut internet and mobile phone access as its president promised a harsh response to what he says are “massive attacks” on security forces.

Many of the demonstrators who converged on the mayoral office in Almaty carried clubs and shields, and flames were seen coming from the building, according to the reports, but it was unclear how extensive the fire was.

Smoke rises from the city hall building during a protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Yan Blagov)

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