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Eight Still In Hospital After Kazakh Concert

Kazakh riot police cordon off the territory of Prime Plaza after the concert by Kairat Nurtas in Almaty on August 31.
ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Eight people remain in hospital following a riot sparked by the cancellation of a popular singer's concert in Kazakhstan's largest city, Almaty.

Health officials said 90 men and women were referred for medical assistance, following the rioting on August 31.

The singer, Kairat Nurtas, ended his concert in a city mall prematurely after fans broke through a police cordon to get closer to the stage (see video here).

Rioters threw stones and bottles at the stage and damaged vehicles in the mall's parking lot.

Some 165 people were detained by police. A criminal investigation into charges of hooliganism has been launched.

Nurtas told RFE/RL on September 2 that he wants the investigations to be unbiased, adding that concert organizers were guilty of poor planning and of failing to provide him with adequate security.

With reporting by
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    RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

    RFE/RL's Radio Azattyq has been an important source of information for people in Kazakhstan for decades. In 2009, Azattyq won the prestigious 2009 Online Journalism Award for "standing in defense of citizen’s rights to seek and receive information."