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President Saparmurat Niyazov (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
November 2, 2006 -- Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov today removed Orazberdy Soltanov, the head of the country's border guard administration, from office.
The official TDH news agency says Niyazov made the announcement at a meeting with border guard officials.
TDH reports Niyazov "seriously" criticized Soltanov before awarding him a medal and announcing his transfer to the Railway Ministry.
Soltanov had been in charge of the border guard administration since May 2004.
Niyazov said Soltanov's deputy for personnel issues, Bayram Alovov, would be temporarily in charge of the border guard administration.
The Turkmen leader also urged the country's border guards to step up efforts against smugglers who are illegally exporting "oil products, flour, and cattle products" out of the country and carry out "preventive work" among the populations of border areas.