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Witnesses speak about mob violence in Almaty

01 september 2013, 05:20
0
Still frame from ©STV channel video
Still frame from ©STV channel video
Here are reports and opinion of those who witnessed the mob violence near the Prime Plaza in Almaty from various angles:

There was a horrible traffic jam on Raymbek street near Sain street. I hardly managed to get home. There were about 1500 people near the Prime Plaza! Someone was shouting in a microphone for the people to go home saying the Nurtas was not going to sing! I stood there for about 10 minutes. And then it started, bottles was flying at the stage! In front of my very eyes one of the bottles hit a policeman in the head. Someone started shooting in the air. Something exploded, it was unclear was it was. People were running in all directions in panic. There were children there. Everyone was falling. It was chaos. Parents were searching for their children in the crowd, crying. Them something caught fire and firemen arrived. They started extinguishing the fire, but the mob tried to drive them off throwing bottles at them!


I went to pick up my sister from that concert. She called me and said that there was shooting at the overcrossing. It took me an hour to get to the mall through the traffic jams and policemen. I saw overturned cars at the overcrossing. A Hummer decorated for a wedding crashed into the fencing on Sain street. Groups of agitated young people with stones and bottles in their hands tried to stop my car when I was driving on Ryskulov street.


People came to have a good time, girls were all dressed up, wearing high heels, a lot of people brought their children, even babies. First the master of the show started shouting at the people as if they were stupid, then the ‘star’ was really later, started singing life, but failed to finish the song, and now everyone is saying that young people are to be blamed…


I was at that concert. There were really many people there. There was not even enough place to stand. I personally am unhappy with the organizers of the concert who invited a popular singer for a concert with free entrance. They should have expected that a lot of people would come, there should have been more security should have been more security personnel. Most of all I was outraged with the women who led the show. She was showing at the crowd very rudely and she spoke only Russian although the organizers knew fully well that the singer sings in the Kazakh language only and that his audience is Kazakh-speaking. Managing a crowd of people takes a professional approach in any country. It was good that Kairat left in time, if would have been a pity if he had been hurt.

This was horrible!!! We leave at the crossing of Tole Bi and Sain streets. There is police everywhere, ambulances. Panic. All the men in the street are being arrested.


I saw everything from my window, the crowd looked wild, I was afraid that people down their would get hurt. There were children who got lost, their parents were looking for them. The concert was stopped about 5 times to calm down the people. It was pretty obvious that things were going sour. Poor men who were in the frond rows dispersing those (...), I have never seen a crowds this large assemble here even when Prime Plaze. There were so many people as if Roza Rymbayeva was going to sing, so many fans as if he was a world star.


Kairat was siting in a balcony for two hour and entered the stage at nine instead of seven. He didn’t even finish one song, said that he was expected elsewhere and left. The people who assembled their, especially those who came from remote areas for the concert, were very disappointed and reacted violently.


They crashed our car with stones. The back window is shattered completely. We are not sitting at home and thanking God for getting us out of there safely. We fear for the helpless women and children who may be hurt in this violence. My legs are still shaking. People should be held liable for their actions. Such violence must be punished!


My show has been damaged with stones. All the windows have been shattered. They tried to break the door. Our salespeople locked themselves in the bathroom to hide. It is the one near Akkent. Zugo trade center was also damaged with stones. We called the police and have been waiting for an hour for them to arrive already.


I was their, in the front rows. I don’t now why, but my daughter likes this Kairat Nurtas singer a lot and I had to take her to this concert. First we waited for an hour and a half, he was late, then came to the stage with a malfunctioning microphone, there was a lot of background noise, started singing something, but did not finish the last verse and left without explaining anything.

I was returning form the aiport at 22.30 with my kids. It was strange that there were traffic jams at such a late hour. I saw groups of young people and everyone were pointing to me that there was not way to drive any further. I first thought there were repair works on the road ahead, then saw a crowd of people running with stones and empty glass bottles. Cars parked along the road started driving away, one driver said that a car was set on fire up ahead and that people were crashing everything there. It was frightening and unclear why this was happening. I tried to turn back, there was a traffic jam, young them were shrowing empty bottles at cars.


Here is what I saw with my own eyes, I was behind the stage as I was one of the assistants. There were very many people, the woman who led the show repeatedly called people to calm down and stop pushing. But no one listened to her. When Kairat arrived the crowd went wild, those who were holding the fencing simply could not hold off the crowd rushing to the stage.

You cannot imaging how terrifying it was in there. The crowd was wild. There was a fire, broken glass, wild people crashing everything around, soldiers, wounded, broken heads…

It was terrible, roads were blocked all around Momyshuly-Tashkentskaya, Ryskulov-Petrov block. The traffic jams were impossible. Ambulances, policemen, special forces. It is unbelievable that a cancelation of a concert can result it his.

I got home at 22:15. I live near the Prime. There were very many people. It was unclear what was going on. I understood what it was only after I read about it in the news. I saw several young men running with class bottles in their hands.


I have just retuned from the … concert. It was very frightening. People we running, stepping on each other, blood, fire, police, a lot of dust. I will never go to a concert again, better watching on TV in an old fashioned way...


I was driving up Sain street, the traffic jam was terrible. When I got to Tashkentskaya steet I witnessed something horrible... Ambulances, fire-engines, police, mobs of young people, smoke, stones flying everywhere, one hit my car... I had to make a U-turn right across the border stones... I could barely get away. Terrible, horrible.

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