Protests, triggered by an increase in fuel prices, break out across Kazakhstan

The content originally appeared on: CNN
Protesters set fire to the city administration building in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, January 5.

EyePress News/Reuters

Protesters set fire to the city administration building in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, January 5.

EyePress News/Reuters

Violent protests, triggered by an increase in fuel prices, broke out in cities across Kazakhstan on Tuesday, January 4.

The airport in Almaty, the country’s biggest city, was breached by protesters on Wednesday, according to local media, and a state of emergency has been declared nationwide.

In three cities, local administration officials came under attack, buildings were damaged and “stones, sticks, gas, pepper, and Molotov cocktails were used,” according to a statement by the Interior Ministry.

The protests were ignited when the government lifted price controls on liquefied petroleum gas at the start of the year, Reuters reported. Many Kazakhs have converted their cars to run on the fuel because of its low cost.

Prime Minister Askar Mamin haa resigned amid the protests. Alikhan Smailov was appointed acting prime minister, and members of the government will continue to serve until the formation of a new cabinet.