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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Minister Fired in Baku

BAKU, Azerbaijan () -- The president of Azerbaijan sacked his security minister after a former defense minister was allowed to escape from prison.

President Heidar Aliyev linked the escape to a $7 billion oil deal signed Tuesday with a Western consortium, and said the "signing of the contract seriously alarmed certain forces in Azerbaijan and beyond."

Aliyev said he had fired Nariman Imranov, head of the former KGB, for negligence, and replaced him with the deputy minister, General Namik Abasov. Authorities said security officials helped former Defense Minister Rahim Gaziyev and three other men escape from the prison where they were held on charges of high treason.