Nur-Sultan [Kazakhstan], January 12 (ANI): Foreign terrorists stoked the fire in Kazakhstan and were behind the upsurge in the rioting and arson that put the Central Asian republic on tenterhooks for weeks.
According to the international think tank based in Canada - International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) over 160 persons were killed in the capital city of Nur-Sultan and other cities where violence spread like wildfire from January 2 this year.
The civilian unrest commandeered by foreign terrorist elements in Kazakhstan could turn out to be a precursor to a more violent and cataclysmic turn of events in the region as global jihadi infrastructure begins to reclaim space and influence after the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
These groups, which fanned out across cities, indulged in extreme violence including at least two beheadings. The possibility of these well-trained groups coming from the Af-Pak region remains quite high. There are several groups in the region that have proven their urban warfare capabilities, reported IFFRAS.
Evidence is now trickling that the sudden spurt in protests and rapid escalation in violence was propelled by terrorist groups who took over what began as a peaceful citizen protest against the government for rising fuel prices.
Eyewitnesses have categorically stated that these men were young, well-armed and trained to carry out urban warfare tactics. They knew how to tackle armed policemen, batter them, seize their weapons and uniform while paralyzing cities like Almaty, reported IFFRAS.
According to Talgat Kalieve, a political scientist in Kazakhstan, the entire episode should be seen in two parts. The first part was a peaceful protest which began in the Mangystau region on January 2 this year. Then this peaceful protest was taken over by forces having special training to seize buildings, including sensitive and protected facilities like the international airport at Almaty.
A senior journalist in Almaty, Aizhan Nurgazinova, wrote how the peaceful protests "were quickly commandeered by mysterious armed and highly organized groups of young men" who began attacking law enforcement.
It was not clear where these men came from but eyewitnesses said they spoke neither Russian nor Kazak, the two common languages, but an incomprehensible language which meant they were foreigners, reported IFFRAS.
The group quickly disabled street video surveillance cameras, barricaded the roadways and posted observers along the perimeter. They used radios to communicate and coordinate their actions during the rioting and arson. (ANI)