Media reports note that police in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, said early on January 6 that dozens of rioters had been “liquidated” over the past day as demonstrators stormed government buildings, set them on fire, and looted businesses.

Kazakhstan’s Interior Ministry said that 18 security personnel died in clashes with protesters and more than 2,000 people were arrested.

Radio Liberty’s Kazakh Service reported on January 7 that an unknown number of people have reportedly been killed in at least two smaller towns.

Since the protests erupted earlier this week, the Health Ministry reportedly said more than 1,000 people have been injured and 400 hospitalized.  Sixty-two people are in the intensive care unit, according to RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service

Angry demonstrators, some of whom were armed with rubber truncheons, sticks, and shields, reportedly set fire to a presidential residence and the mayor’s office in Almaty, where protesters also temporarily seized control of the airport.  The airports in Almaty and one other city were shut down, RFE/RL noted.

The government has reportedly blocked the Internet and disrupted mobile phone signals.  Media has also been restricted.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has blamed foreign-trained "terrorist" gangs for the violence and asked the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to enter the country to help stabilize the situation.  

Some media outlets say the first Russian paratroopers arrived, followed by troops from Belarus on the evening of January 6. 

Armenia reportedly sent some 70 soldiers to Kazakhstan as part of the contingent to ensure the protection of objects of strategic importance.

According to some sources, Tajikistan are sending about 200 peacekeepers to Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan is expected to send 150 troops to Kazakhstan. .  

Meanwhile, a former member of the State Duma (Russia’s lower chamber of parliament), Ruslan Balbek, told RIA Novosti on January 6 that  members of Daesh and Gülenist groups are behind the ongoing riots in Kazakhstan.

According to him, the “hands of ISIS (alternate acronym for Daesh) and Gülenists are visible” in the protests.

"The hands of ISIS are visible in organizing riots on the territory of Kazakhstan,” Balbek said, adding that it is in their style – brutal killings and absurd demands.

“But those Kazakhs, who were trained in Turkey at the educational institutions of Fetullah Gülen, the organizer of the coup attempt in Ankara, are at the helm,” said he.  “Protesters “picked up an ideological virus” from Fetullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülenist cult.” 

“Kazakhstan is a secular country and it is impossible to deceive the population with delusional radical teachings, but if to crush the statehood and plant the law of the jungle on these wrecks – on this case, ISIS is really good,” Balbek concluded.