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Thousands of jihadists involved in Kazakhstan protests, Russian diplomat claims

THOUSANDS of jihadists were involved in the recent violence in Kazakhstan, Russia claimed on Sunday.

At least two security officials are believed to have been beheaded.

Russian ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that Kazakhstan was being subjected to another attempted “colour revolution.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who sent troops into Kazakhstan to shore up the government, has warned that Moscow is prepared to step in to prevent uprisings of that sort succeeding.

Claims of foreign interference in the Central Asian country have also been made by others, including China, Armenia and Cuba.

“Kazakhstan came under attack by radicals preaching a misanthropic ideology. Thousands of jihadists and looters made an attempt to shatter the constitutional order,” Mr Antonov said.

“They use weapons against peaceful citizens. They damage government-owned and private property,” the diplomat said.

He claimed the unrest was aimed at ousting the government of Kazakhstan, which, while having good relations with Washington, is also close to Russia and central to China’s Belt & Road Initiative.

“This is a new attempt at a ‘colour revolution’ with the help of gunmen and looters,” he said.

At least 167 people are believed to have been killed since protests erupted on January 2. Government buildings were torched and protesters briefly took control of the international airport in the country’s largest city, Almaty.

Fears of a “colour revolution” have been fuelled by claims made by provocateurs who have been involved in attempts to usurp governments in other countries, including Belarusian activist Dzmitry Halko. He claimed to have played a key role in organising the protests in Kazakhstan, along with veterans from the 2014 Euromaidan coup in Ukraine, and said they had a highly co-ordinated operation.

“We went to consult with those who organised the Maidan protest by force, studied the experience of the protests in Hong Kong and other countries,” he said.

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