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Berdymukhammedov Shuffles Turkmen Security Officials

Turkmenistan's president has reshuffled his top security officials amid a flare up in fighting on the Central Asian country's border with Afghanistan.

State media reported on October 6 that Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov named the head of the presidential guard service, Lieutenant General Guichgeldy Khojaberdiev, to take over the National Security Ministry, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

The outgoing head of the National Security Ministry, Lieutenant General Yailym Berdiev, was in turn appointed defense minister to replace Major General Begench Gundogdyev.

Gundogdyev was appointed commander of Turkmen naval forces.

Central Asia's most closed country rarely reveals the reason for such personnel changes, but the appointments took place amid reports of renewed battles between Afghan security forces and Islamic fighters in Afghanistan's Faryab Province, which borders Turkmenistan.

Based on reporting by AP and Interfax