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Nearly 1,000 Still Detained Over Deadly Kazakh Protests

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More than 460 people are still being held on terrorism and public-disorder charges in connection with mass disorders earlier this month, Kazakh officials have said.

Eldos Kilymzhanov, a spokesman for the Prosecutor-General's Office, said on January 22 that about 500 other people were being held on less serious charges such as theft, disorderly conduct, and weapons possession.

He added that 73 of the detainees were wounded, including "29 people with gunshot wounds."

A number of former detainees have alleged they were abused while in custody.

Earlier this month, Russian-led forces were called into Kazakhstan to put down mass unrest that was initially triggered by price hikes for fuel.

The government has blamed the violence on international terror cells, while analysts attribute it to a power struggle between elites loyal to President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev and former President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

Prominent relatives of Nazarbaev have since been dismissed from corporate and government posts.

Over 2,000 troops sent by the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization completed their withdrawal from the country on January 19.

With reporting by AFP
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