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Kazakh Police Clash With Protesters On Independence Day

ALMATY -- Some 400 protesters have clashed in Kazakhstan's commercial capital, Almaty, with security forces after police tried to detain the leader of the demonstration, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

The group was protesting unresolved housing issues and demands that the government resign.

The clash on Republic Square occurred when police tried to arrest protest leader Ainur Kurmanov, who heads an unregistered NGO dealing with the housing crisis.

Kurmanov told RFE/RL from the police station that the protesters wanted to commemorate the victims of a December protest in 1986, when Soviet forces cracked down on a student protest in Almaty.

Kazakhstan marks the 17th anniversary of its independence on December 16.