A central Asian country faced with a wave of protests over a spike in fuel prices has switch off internet.
The internet was reportedly switched off across Kazakhstan on Wednesday, as the country remains gripped by violent protests that began in response to a hike in fuel prices after the New Year.
NetBlocks has described the situation in the country as “a nation-scale internet blackout.”
Access to the web was cut off completely following a day of mobile internet disruptions and partial curbs on Tuesday, it added.
“The incident is likely to severely limit coverage of escalating anti-government protests,” the outfit pointed out.
Access to Kazakhstan’s news websites have been blocked amid reports of the blackout. TV broadcasting has also been disrupted in the country.
According to reports, protesters broke into the offices of the Mir 24 TV channel in Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty. The staff had been evacuated in time, but the mob remained inside for around an hour, damaging equipment.
The capital, Almaty was the epicenter of violence in the country on Wednesday, with angry crowds storming the mayor’s office, the presidential residence, and other government facilities. Clashes, in which the demonstrators in some cases used firearms against law enforcement, have been taking place in many parts of the city of two million people, according to RT.
Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the nation on Wednesday, expressing his readiness to “act as tough as possible” against those breaking the law.
Protests began across Kazakhstan in the first days of 2022, after fuel prices doubled in the resource-rich country. The hikes followed the government’s decision to give up on the longtime price caps on liquefied petroleum gas(LPG).