10 die as workers clash with police in Kazakhstan


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The Independent Online

Ten people were killed in clashes between sacked oil workers and police in western Kazakhstan yesterday.

The protesters set fire to the city administration building in Zhanaozen and the headquarters of the oil company, Uzenmunaigas, said the country's prosecutor-general.

Protesters attacked police, toppled a New Year tree, destroyed yurts and set fire to a police bus, he added. The clashes marred celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence from the Soviet Union.

Uzenmunaigas, a division of London-listed KazMunaiGas, has sacked 989 workers because of cuts in production. "They were outraged that the administration was preparing a holiday for the town and they started pelting stones at people walking by," said an aide to the local governor.