MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti)
Three Russian journalists covering riots in western Kazakhstan were detained without cause, Russia's Kommersant business daily said on its website on Sunday.
"The journalists were detained on Sunday by people with automatic rifles in the square of the town of Zhanaozen without the explanation of any reasons," Kommersant said.
The journalists detained in Kazakhstan included Kommersant special correspondent Vladimir Solovyov and photo correspondent Vasily Shavoshnikov, and also Lenta-ru correspondent Ilya Azar.
"During the detainment, some of their personal belongings were seized. The journalists were in Kazakhstan to cover the riots that had erupted in the country's west. In about four hours after they were detained, the journalists were released," the paper said.
Kommersant Editor-in-Chief Mikhail Mikhailin has told RIA Novosti that the journalists were released personally by Kazakhstan Interior Minister Kalmukhanbet Kasymov.
At least 11 people were killed and more than 70 injured as striking oil workers clashed with police in the western town of Zhanaozen on Friday. Eyewitnesses claim police fired on unarmed protesters, a charge denied by the authorities.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has ordered an investigation into the worst violence in the former Soviet state in years.
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