Kazakhstan officials reported on Monday that law enforcers detained almost 8,000 individuals during protests that turned into violent attacks last week, which President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev described as "terrorist aggression."

Kazakhstan's National Security Committee reported that the situation is now "stabilized" and "under control." At the same time, the Interior Ministry said that the police had detained a total of 7,939 people in the worst unrest in the country's history since it gained independence 30 years ago, according to the Associated Press.

On Monday, government officials have declared a day of mourning for the victims of the violent attacks that resulted in the death of 164 people, including three children.

The protests started on January 2 in the western area of Kazakhstan, when prices of liquified petroleum gas used to fuel cars soared. The demonstrations soon spread all over the country, reflecting the frustrations with the authoritarian rule of Tokayev.

The government declared a 180-day price cap on vehicle fuel and a moratorium on increasing utility rates. However, the unrest escalated and prompted the resignation of cabinet officials and the replacement of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev as chief of the National Security Council.

Eventually, the protests became more aggressive for several days, as attackers set buildings and vehicles on fire, forced cancellation of airport flights, and gunfires and explosions rocked the city walls.

Amid the turmoil, President Tokayev declared a state of emergency nationwide and sought the assistance of the Russia-led intergovernmental military alliance Collective Security Treaty Organization. Last week, the coalition deployed 2,500 to help stabilize the situation in Kazakhstan, as per the CNBC report.

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'Demonstrators Instigated by Terrorists'

President Tokayev dismissed the reported attack of law enforcers on peaceful demonstrators as "disinformation." He claims that the protests were instigated by "terrorists" backed by foreigners. 

On Monday, the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan said in a statement that the peaceful protests were "hijacked" by extremist, terrorist, and criminal organizations. They reported that there were individuals who have military combat experience "in the ranks of radical Islamist groups" among the attackers.

On Friday, Tokayev ordered the military and police to shoot to kill "terrorists" involved in the violent uprising as per NBC News.

Tokayev Vows To Expose Masterminds Of Destabilization Attempt

In a special virtual summit of the CSTO on Monday, President Tokayev vowed to disclose further evidence of a "terrorist aggression" against his country to the global community. He insisted that the Kazakhstan government had met the protesters' demands and claimed that the attacks were made by armed militant groups that wanted to bring down the government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his support to Tokayev and echoed the latter's sentiment. He called the unrest "an act of aggression" that originated externally. "We understand that the events in Kazakhstan are not the first and not the last attempt at interfering in the internal affairs of our states from the outside," Putin said during the special summit.

Meanwhile, the National Security Committee said that the terrorist "hotspots" in Kazakhstan have already been "neutralized." The panel also informed that the law enforcers had released Kyrgyz music artist Vikram Ruzakhunove, who got arrested due to his alleged involvement in the protests that sparked outrage in Kyrgyzstan.

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