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Uneasy Kazakh Calm

After riots in the western Kazakh town of Zhanaozen claimed at least 13 lives, the city has experienced an uneasy calm after a heavy deployment of police. RFE/RL's Kazakh Service correspondent Kazis Toguzbaev traveled to Zhanaozen and the nearby Aktau on December 19.

On the streets of Zhanaozen, a burnt-out banner featuring Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.
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On the streets of Zhanaozen, a burnt-out banner featuring Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

Since the riots there has been a huge deployment of police and security forces to restore order. 
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Since the riots there has been a huge deployment of police and security forces to restore order. 

On the streets of Zhanaozen, police officers are carrying out random security checks.
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On the streets of Zhanaozen, police officers are carrying out random security checks.

One Zhanaozen resident, Sandugash Amanzholova, says that she could not find her husband, who was detained by police on December 16.  
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One Zhanaozen resident, Sandugash Amanzholova, says that she could not find her husband, who was detained by police on December 16.  

Casing from a shotgun pellet. The Kazakh authorities have said the police were left "with no choice but to shoot." 
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Casing from a shotgun pellet. The Kazakh authorities have said the police were left "with no choice but to shoot." 

This Zhanaozen resident says there is now no food in the stores. 
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This Zhanaozen resident says there is now no food in the stores. 

Much of the violence in Zhanaozen was focused on the city's central square.  
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Much of the violence in Zhanaozen was focused on the city's central square.  

Close to the central square in Aktau, a protesters' banner reads "Kazakhs, Wake Up!"
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Close to the central square in Aktau, a protesters' banner reads "Kazakhs, Wake Up!"

There has also been a heavy deployment of police in Aktau, where pro-strike rallies drew hundreds of people on December 18.
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There has also been a heavy deployment of police in Aktau, where pro-strike rallies drew hundreds of people on December 18.

These residents of Aktau were symapthetic with the oil workers' protests. 
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These residents of Aktau were symapthetic with the oil workers' protests. 

Protesters in Aktau present a list of their demands. 
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Protesters in Aktau present a list of their demands. 

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