Former anti-terror chief arrested over Kazakhstan protests

The former head of Kazakhstan's counterintelligence and anti-terror agency has been arrested on charges of attempted government overthrow in the wake of violent protests that the president has blamed on foreign-backed terrorists

Via AP news wire
Saturday 08 January 2022 08:55 GMT
Kazakhstan Protests
Kazakhstan Protests (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

The former head of Kazakhstan’s counterintelligence and anti-terror agency has been arrested on charges of attempted government overthrow in the wake of violent protests that the president has blamed on foreign-backed terrorists.

The arrest of Karim Masimov was announced Saturday by the National Security Committee, which Kasimov headed until he was removed this week by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

Authorities say security forces killed 26 demonstrators in this week’s unrest and that 18 law-enforcement officers died. More than 4,400 people have been arrested, the Interior Ministry said Saturday.

The protests in the Central Asian nation were the most widespread since Kazakhstan’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The unrest began in the country’s far west as protests against a sharp rise in prices for liquefied petroleum gas that is widely used as vehicle fuel, and spread to the country’s largest city, Almaty where demonstrators seized and burned government buildings.

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