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ASTANA -- Police in Astana have detained dozens of apartment dwellers after they publicly protested their impending evictions.

The protesters gathered in front of the Prosecutor-General's Office in the Kazakh capital on December 18, saying that the new owner of an apartment complex in the city has illegally requested their eviction.

The protesters say the request affects some 400 families, who are refusing to leave their apartments.

The protesters held posters saying, "We will not give up our homes!" and "Take our homes only by bloodshed!"

Several housing-related protests in Astana and the former capital, Almaty, earlier this year ended with the arrests of dozens of demonstrators for what officials described as violations of the law on mass gatherings.

Those protesters were demanding revisions of their mortgage interest rates or were challenging foreclosures and evictions.
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