pcloudy.png
Friday June 24th, 2022 6:11PM

Former anti-terror chief arrested over Kazakhstan protests

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MOSCOW (AP) — 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 Masimov 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. The protests spread to the country’s largest city, Almaty, where demonstrators seized and burned government buildings.

At Tokayev's request, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russia-led military alliance of six former Soviet states, authorized sending about 2,500 mostly Russian troops to Kazakhstan as peacekeepers.

Some of the force is guarding government facilities in the capital, Nur-Sultan, which “made it possible to release part of the forces of Kazakhstani law enforcement agencies and redeploy them to Almaty to participate in the counter-terrorist operation,” according to a statement from Tokayev's office.

Tokayev said Friday that he had authorized security forces to shoot to kill those participating in unrest. On Saturday, there were no immediate reports of trouble in Almaty. Police dispersed a demonstration and detained people in the city of Aktau, while sporadic gunfire was heard in Kyzylorda, Russian news agency Sputnik said.

Sputnik later reported a clash outside Almaty on the main highway leading to Kyrgyzstan, but its size and intnsity were unclear. The Russian internet broadcaster Dozhd said police fired weapons into the air and at the ground outside the city morgue.

No details were given about what Masimov, the former security agency head, was alleged to have done that would constitute an attempted government overthrow. The National Security Committee, a successor to the Soviet-era KGB, is responsible for counterintelligence, the border guards service and anti-terror activities.

Although the protests began as denunciations of the near-doubling of LPG prices at the start of the year, their spread and intense violence indicate they reflected widespread dissatisfaction in the former Soviet republic run by the same party for more than 30 years.

Many demonstrators shouted “Old man out,” a reference to Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was president from Kazakhstan’s independence until he resigned in 2019 and anointed Tokayev as his successor.

Nazarbayev, who was given the title “ebasy,” or leader of the nation, retained substantial power as head of the National Security Council. But Tokayev removed him as council head amid this week's unrest, possibly aiming at a concession to mollify protesters.

Nazarbayev remained invisible during the chaos, but on Saturday his spokesman said Nazarbayev was in the capital and “calls on everyone to rally around the president of Kazakhstan to overcome current challenges and ensure the integrity of our country.”

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
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
3:55AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Reports: Lawyers say Djokovic had COVID-19 last month
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. is reporting lawyers for Novak Djokovic have lodged court documents in his challenge against deportation from Australia that showed the tennis star contracted COVID-19 last month
3:36AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Djokovic could face future bans if deported from Australia
Novak Djokovic risks missing more than one Australian Open if he fails to have his visa cancellation overturned and gets deported for not having enough evidence to support a medical exemption to Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination rules when he arrived for the first tennis major of 2022
2:46AM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Filmmaker Zhang Yimou returns for Olympics opening ceremony
Renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou is promising a simpler opening ceremony for next month’s Beijing Winter Games with a bold and unprecedented way of lighting the Olympic flame
10:52PM ( 5 hours ago )
Anger as Cambodia's Hun Sen meets Myanmar military leader
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Myanmar to revive peace efforts after last year’s military takeover is provoking an angry backlash among critics, who say he is legitimizing the army’s seizure of power
9:55PM ( 6 hours ago )
Former PM tests positive as omicron cases rise in Australia
Australia's former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has tested positive for COVID-19, as case numbers hit new highs across the country and health officials warned that the real number of cases is likely much higher than testing shows
9:30PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP World News
Supreme Court skeptical of Biden's workplace vaccine rule
The Supreme Court’s conservative majority appears skeptical of the Biden administration’s authority to impose a vaccine-or-testing requirement on the nation’s large employers
9:17PM ( 6 hours ago )
Coast Guard announces safety rules after deadly boat fire
The Coast Guard has announced new safety rules following a deadly blaze that killed 34 people on a scuba diving boat off the California coast more than two years ago
8:54PM ( 7 hours ago )
Chicago mayor: Hopeful for deal in COVID teachers dispute
Classes in Chicago were canceled for a third consecutive day amid an ongoing fight with the teachers union over remote learning and other COVID-19 safety protocols
8:02PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business
Stocks wobble following mixed jobs data as tech sinks again
Stocks turned mixed Friday as Treasury yields rise, with much of Wall Street seeing the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates as soon as March despite a mixed report on the U.S. jobs market
2:05PM ( 13 hours ago )
Supreme Court weighs vaccine rules affecting more than 80M
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on two major Biden administration work rules to bump up the nation’s vaccination rate against COVID-19 at a time of spiking cases because of the omicron variant
11:38AM ( 16 hours ago )
Stocks slip following mixed jobs data as tech sinks again
Stocks are slipping Friday as Treasury yields rise, with much of Wall Street seeing the Federal Reserve on course to raise interest rates as soon as March despite a mixed report on the U.S. jobs market
11:20AM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Dozens of protesters, 12 police dead in Kazakhstan protests
Authorities say security forces have killed dozens of protesters and 12 police have died during extraordinarily violent demonstrations in Kazakhstan
3:39PM ( 1 day ago )
Stocks wobble as traders weigh outlook for rates, inflation
Stocks are wobbling in afternoon trading on Wall Street Thursday as investors consider the outlook for rising interest rates and inflation
2:14PM ( 1 day ago )
Stance on Russia, China a test for new German government
Germany has found itself facing a series of challenges in its relations with Russia and China that have been testing the foreign policy mettle of the new government since it took office last month
1:53PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Reports: Lawyers say Djokovic had COVID-19 last month
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. is reporting lawyers for Novak Djokovic have lodged court documents in his challenge against deportation from Australia that showed the tennis star contracted COVID-19 last month
3:36AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Djokovic could face future bans if deported from Australia
Novak Djokovic risks missing more than one Australian Open if he fails to have his visa cancellation overturned and gets deported for not having enough evidence to support a medical exemption to Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination rules when he arrived for the first tennis major of 2022
2:46AM ( 1 hour ago )
LeBron leads Lakers past Hawks 134-118 for 4th straight win
The Los Angeles Lakers held off the Atlanta Hawks 134-118 for their first four-game winning streak of the season
1:40AM ( 2 hours ago )
Harry Reid memorial in Vegas drawing nation's top Democrats
The late U.S. Sen. Harry Reid will be remembered in Las Vegas this weekend by family, friends and the nation’s top Democrats as a fighter, a father and a powerful U.S. and Nevada political figure
12:27AM ( 3 hours ago )
Marine officer blames bad information for sinking tragedy
A Marine Corps battalion commander has testified that in retrospect he would have halted the exercise that killed nine of his Marines whose amphibious assault vehicle sank off the Southern California coast in 2020
12:15AM ( 3 hours ago )