Israeli Man Shot Dead in Kazakhstan Clashes

Levan Kogeashvili, 22, was killed in the city of Almaty amid ongoing anti-government protests

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A serviceman patrols a street in central Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Friday.
A serviceman patrols a street in central Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Friday.Credit: ALEXANDR BOGDANOV - AFP

An Israeli man was killed in clashes in Kazakhstan on Friday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry reported on Saturday, the day the country's president ordered forces to use lethal fire amid anti-government protests.

Levan Kogeashvili, 22, had been living in Kazakhstan in past years, a Foreign Ministry statement said. He was killed by live fire in Almaty, the country's biggest city.  

The Foreign Ministry is in touch with his parents in Kazakhstan and family members in Israel, and is working to transfer his remains for burial in Israel, the statement said.

Demonstrations that began as a response to a fuel price hike in the central Asian country have swelled into a broad movement against the government and ex-leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, 81, the longest-serving ruler of any former Soviet state.

He turned over the presidency to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev three years ago, but his family is widely believed to have retained power in Nur-Sultan, the purpose-built capital that bears his name.

Security forces appeared to be in control of the streets of the main city Almaty on Friday morning, but gunfire could still be heard after days of unrest in which dozens of people were killed and public buildings ransacked and torched.

"I have given the order to law enforcement agencies and the army to shoot to kill without warning," Tokayev said. He blamed foreign-trained terrorists for the worst violence in the Central Asian state's 30 years of independence.

On Thursday, Russia sent troops to quell the countrywide uprising, with its defense ministry saying that over 70 planes were bringing Russian soldiers into Kazakhstan around the clock.