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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shots at Tajik Aluminum Chief

The head of Tajikistan's aluminum smelter, the world's third biggest, escaped death at the hands of a mayor who shot at him after being refused an illegal aluminum consignment, Itar-Tass said.

The Tursunzade smelter in western Tajikistan has been placed under the protection of Russian-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States troops following Thursday's incident, the news agency said.

Itar-Tass said Tursunzade's mayor Ibodullah Boymatov asked the smelter's director, Mikhail Sinani, to grant him a big aluminum consignment for an unnamed foreign firm without any legal documents. The director refused.

"When the director said no, the mayor pulled out his pistol, fired several shots at him but he missed," the news agency reported.

The mayor was immediately sacked but no charges had been brought against him yet, according to Itar-Tass.

At the request of the Tajik government, the smelter would remain under military protection "to ensure the safety of the strategic raw material," a military spokesman said.