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Kazakh PM Orders Thorough Probe Into Oil-Worker Brawl

Kazakh Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov (file photo) (AFP) November 21, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakh Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov has ordered that a government commission look into the causes of recent fighting that left 196 oil workers injured in the western city of Atyrau.

A statement posted on the Kazakh government's website says Akhmetov on November 20 discussed the October 20 incident with Guy Hollingsworth, the Eurasia managing director of Chevron International Exploration and Production.

The brawl broke out among employees of one of Chevron's subcontractors. The unrest reportedly erupted when a Kazakh worker attempted to cut into the line at the company's cafeteria.

But investigators believe resentment over the discrepancy that exists between the wages of the Kazakh and Turkish employees is behind the incident.

Among the injured were one Indian, two Kazakh, and 193 Turkish workers.

Although no Filippinos were involved in the fighting, Manila said today it would repatriate 228 of its nationals from Atyrau.

(with material from AFP)

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