Four suspects in Shetpe riots detained in Kazakhstan (UPDATE)

Four suspects in Shetpe riots detained in Kazakhstan (UPDATE)

Details added after fourth graf (first version was posted at 18:05)

Kazakhstan, Astana, Dec. 18 / Trend K. Konyrova /

Kazakhstan security forces are searching for those responsible for unrest at Shetpe ralway station, the Prosecutor General's office reported Sunday.

According to the report, four persons suspected of having committed these crimes have been arrested so far; interrogations and other urgent investigative actions are underway. A search is underway to arrest all the organizers and active participants of these crimes.

On Saturday at 13:24 local time, a group of people blocked the movement of Mangyshlak-Aktobe passenger train at Shetpe railway station in Mangistau region.

The train had 369 passengers on board, a spokesman for Prosecutor General's office Nurdaulet Suindikov said Sunday at a briefing in Astana.

According to him, a group of people that had blocked the movement chanted slogans supporting the rioters in Zhanaozen. As a result of blocking the railroad the normal operation of transport was disrupted, there was a hours-long delay of 7 passenger and 9 freight trains.

According to the official representative, about 50 hooligans categorically refused to settle the issue peacefully and to continue the dialogue in more appropriate place.

"About 20:00 local time, police officers have taken steps to release the railroad tracks and suppress criminal activities. However, the hooligan group showed resistance to the police, set fire to a freight train locomotive, pelted carriages with bottles containing flammable liquids", said Suindikov.

At the same time 150-200 people came from the settlement, surrounded the police, and started to throw them with stones and Molotov cocktails. "Buses that brought police officers were also attacked with Molotov cocktails and stones", said the spokesman.

In addition, a UAZ car without license plates several times drove up to the square and unknown persons which were inside it fired from firearms at security forces. As a result of the attacks five law enforcement officers get various wounds and burns, said Suindikov.

According to him, given that the actions of hooligans were dangerous to lives and health of civilians and police officers themselves, the police, after repeatedly firing warning shots were forced to use weapons. "The shots were made mainly to the air and at the legs of hooligans. 8 out of 12 injured hooligans get wounds of legs, five men were sent home after receiving medical aid, six were hospitalized, one died", said Suindikov.

Criminal cases filed over these facts.

"The situation in Shetpe stabilized, law and order in the streets of this settlement is restored as well as the movement of trains through the station. At the same time, security forces are taking all necessary measures to supress criminal activity, maintain law and order, protect of the rights and freedoms of citizens", said Suindikov.

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