OREANDA-NEWS. An anti-terrorist operation regime has been imposed in the Turksib district of Alma-Ata for a day, Orda.kz reports quoting the city's anti-terrorist operational headquarters.

This came after such a regime was lifted in all of Alma-Ata from 26 January.

Law enforcement continue to identify the participants and organisers of the mass riots, the counter-terrorism task force said.

Anti-terrorist operations in Alma-Ata have detained five members of an organised criminal group (OCG) who had participated in the early January riots.

Organised crime group leaders and members robbed government agencies and businesses in Alma-Ata January 4-6, the headquarters said. The suspects were found to be in possession of a Makarov and TT pistol, a sawed-off hunting rifle and ammunition. A powder-like substance and "pills with a specific odour" were also seized from the detainees.

In early January, protests erupted in Kazakhstan following a sharp rise in the price of liquefied gas. Demonstrators demanded lower food and utility prices, higher wages and pensions, as well as a change in the ruling regime and reforms.

The protests later turned into riots. City administration buildings, the old presidential residence and the airport in Alma-Ata were seized, while shops and ATMs were looted. Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said "terrorist gangs" trained abroad were involved in the unrest.

Consequently, Kazakhstan requested aid from the CSTO, which sent peacekeepers to the republic. A state of emergency was declared throughout the country and an anti-terrorist operation was launched.

Terrorist threats level red was lifted in most parts of the country January 13. CSTO peacekeepers left the republic.