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Azeri President Dismisses Governor of District Hit by Riots

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev fired the governor of the northwestern Ismayilli District that was hit by two days of riots last month after the regional leader’s nephew allegedly beat a taxi driver and insulted residents.

Nizami Alakbarov was replaced as Ismayilli governor by Mirsadiq Sadiqov, rector of Azerbaijan’s Agrarian University, according to a presidential decree published today by state news service Azartac.

The governor has denied the accusations against his nephew, who’s also a son of Labor and Social Protection Minister Fizuli Alakbarov.

Dozens of people were arrested after residents of Ismayilli, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) northwest of the capital, Baku, rioted Jan. 23 and 24, demanding the governor’s resignation.

Aliyev on Jan. 12 accused some of his governors and their relatives of mistreating and insulting people. In comments broadcast on state TV channel AzTV, Aliyev said he’d fire and arrest those who continue to behave “obnoxiously.”

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