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Apr 27, 2012 8:44 PM by Jacqui Heinrich

Kazakhstan warns about 'evil' foreign reporters

MOSCOW (AP) - Prosecutors in Kazakhstan have characterized foreign correspondents as "evil" in an indictment accusing 37 residents of a western oil town of inciting and participating in mass unrest that led to at least 16 deaths.

The unrest in Zhanaozen in December came after a seven-month long occupation of the main square by oil workers demanding higher salaries.

Among the correspondents named this week was an Associated Press reporter who spoke by telephone to people in Zhanaozen. The reporter was not charged.

One of the 37 defendants, Roza Tuletayeva, told the AP she had seen at least five people killed when police opened fire. At the time, officials were still denying reports of gunfire and insisting there were no deaths.

The indictment includes transcripts from intercepted mobile phone conversations between a Human Rights Watch researcher, journalists and Tuletayeva.

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