By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — The former head of Kazakhstan's counterintelligence and anti-terror agency has been arrested on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. Karim Masimov's arrest came in the wake of violent protests this week that the president has blamed on foreign-backed terrorists. The arrest was announced Saturday by the National Security Committee, which Masimov headed until President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev removed him this week. Authorities say security forces killed 26 demonstrators 18 law-enforcement officers died in the protests. The Interior Ministry says ,ore than 4,400 people have been arrested. The unrest began in the country's far west as protests against a sharp rise in prices for liquefied petroleum gas and spread to the country's largest city, Almaty.

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