OREANDA-NEWS. More than 70 militants and over 30 looters have been detained during protests in Almaty, Sputnik Kazakhstan reports quoting the city's police department.

According to official data, the detainees attacked administrative buildings.

Earlier, the Kazakhstani Interior Ministry said 26 "criminals" were killed and 18 "terrorists" wounded. About 3,000 people were detained during the protests. About 1,000 were injured.

Protests began in Kazakhstan's Mangistau Oblast because of a doubling of gas prices, which by January 4 began nationwide. Clashes between protesters and security forces broke out in several major cities, including Almaty. They continued in the afternoon of 6 January, before resuming in the evening. The media published footage of explosions and bursts of gunfire.

Because of the situation, Kazakhstan has declared a critical level of terrorist danger. Security services have been given the right to search people, their belongings and vehicles, as well as to tap conversations and penetrate residential premises. Also, a counter-terrorism operation was imposed across the country.

Earlier, on January 5, President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev said that "terrorist gangs," whose members had received training abroad, were trying to seize major infrastructure facilities. He called for the militants to be completely eliminated in order to bring the situation under control.

The Kazakh president claimed that the country's Defence Ministry paratroopers are fighting the "terrorists" near Almaty. It is the "terrorists" who are seizing weapons and other important facilities, as well as battling cadets in the schools, he said.

Tokayev asked the CSTO countries for help. The organisation has agreed to send a limited-term peacekeeping contingent to the country.