ASTANA -- Hundreds bade farewell on February 5 to five children from a single family killed in a house fire a day earlier in the Kazakh capital, Astana.
An imam performed prayers in the neighborhood where the fire hit the tiny house of 30 square meters early on February 4, killing five girls aged between 3 months and 13 years.
Some people at the farewell ceremony openly expressed anger and dissatisfaction that neither parliament members nor government officials came to the funerals.
The death of the five girls sparked harsh criticism of the government on social networks, saying that the authorities do not do anything to assist families who work to survive in harsh economic realities.
Many criticized President Nursultan Nazarbaev, who said in his New Year's address to the nation on December 31 that during his almost 30-year presidency all conditions had been created for ordinary citizens of the Central Asian nation to live properly.
Emergency service officials told RFE/RL earlier that the blaze occurred during the night when both parents were at work.
The fire was extinguished one hour after firefighters received a call from neighbors, they said.
The children's father was said to work as a car mechanic, while the mother is an employee of a plant producing payment cards.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.