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UN calls for restraint in Kazakhstan amid riots

United Nations, Jan 6 (IANS) The UN has called for restraint in Kazakhstan amid widespread anti-government riots.

"We are obviously following with concern and are monitoring the situation in Kazakhstan. I think it's very important for all involved in these current events to exercise restraint, refrain from violence, and promote dialogue in addressing all of the pertinent issues," Xinhua news agency quoted Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as saying.

Dujarric said the UN has a country office and other representatives in Kazakhstan and there has been no security threat to the staff.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Wednesday that he intended to "act as tough as possible" as the situation in the country becomes "extremely tense".

Earlier in the day, he signed a presidential decree to accept the resignation of the country's government.

The ongoing riots were first sparked by rising fuel prices, but have broadened to include other political grievances, the BBC reported.

The President has also imposed a nationwide state of emergency that includes an overnight curfew and a ban on mass gatherings.