Kazakhstan detains ex-national security chief on suspicion of treason

Authorities in Kazakhstan have detained Karim Massimov, the former head of the national security committee, on suspicion of treason, the security committee said on Saturday, Reuters reports.

Massimov, who was fired this week as protests raged across the Central Asian country, was detained along with several other officials, the National Security Committee said in a statement. It did not name them or provide further details.

Dozens have died and public buildings across Kazakhstan have been ransacked and torched in the worst violence experienced by the country.

Massimov is widely viewed as a close ally of former president Nursultan Nazarbayev. He has twice been prime minister and has also served as head of the presidential administration under Nazarbayev.

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