Ethnic clashes in Kazakhstan kills eight, injures dozens

At least eight people have died and dozens have been injured in reported ethnic clashes in Kazakhstan.

About 30 houses and 15 commercial properties were destroyed during the clash in Masanchi village on Friday.

Ethnic Kazakhs clashed with members of the Dungan minority group and Hui Muslims, a group that migrated from China in the 19th Century, reports say.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the area was “under the control” of the police and national guard.

Fighting occurred in a number of settlements in the Kordai district between local residents, Mr Tokayev said at a press conference. Police arrested 47 people.

Mr Tokayev instructed security agencies to prosecute those spreading hate speech, “provocative rumours and disinformation”.

Footage posted to social media on Friday showed scenes of young men, some armed with clubs, marching along the road of a village with buildings ablaze on either side, AFP news agency reports.

A driver who takes passengers from Kazakhstan’s border with Kyrgyzstan to the Kazakh city of Almaty said Masanchi had been blocked off.

“It is calm. But you can’t get there now. The police and the army are there,” he added.

Information Minister Dauren Abayev claimed the incident had been sparked by an “everyday confrontation”. He added the bazaars (markets) had been closed in Almaty.

The area where the clashes took place is home to many members of the Dungan minority group and Hui Muslims.