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Head Of Azerbaijan's Second-Largest City Sacked After Attacks


BAKU -- Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has sacked the administrative head of the country's second-largest city, weeks after the official was wounded in an armed attack and two police officers were stabbed to death.

Aliyev's office said on August 28 that Elmar Valiyev was replaced by Niyazi Bayramov.

Valiyev and one of his bodyguards were hospitalized with various injuries late on July 3 after being shot by an individual.

Police arrested the suspected gunman, identified as Yunis Safarov.

Authorities alleged that he belonged to a radical Islamist group and was plotting a coup intended to pave the way for the creation of an Islamic state in the mostly Shi'ite Muslim nation that borders Iran.

In July, hundreds of Safarov's supporters clashed with police in Ganca, stabbing two high-tanking police officers to death.

Two men suspected of involvement in the assault were shot dead in two separate police operations, while some 60 other suspects were detained, according to authorities.

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