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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nose Injury Causes Row with Berlin

A fight after a bikers' rally that left a German diplomat with a broken nose and a black eye has sparked a diplomatic dispute in the Urals.

The German Consulate in Yekaterinburg has delivered an official note of protest to the Foreign Ministry's local branch demanding a thorough investigation of a weekend incident involving Deputy Consul General Max M?ller, the consulate said Wednesday.

Police in the Sverdlovsk region are investigating the assault on M?ller in the town of Irbit, Valery Gorelykh, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry's regional branch said by telephone from Yekaterinburg.

A passionate biker himself, M?ller had traveled on his Yamaha to the rally in the Siberian town, famous for its motorcycle plant and show.

M?ller said he returned to the Povorot hotel, accompanied by a Russian friend, after the rally and that a man showed up outside his room at around 3 a.m. Sunday "and wanted to fight." The man, he added, was drunk and constantly swearing in English before he "totally groundlessly" attacked the diplomat.

"He wanted to beat someone, and unfortunately my friend and I were the only ones present," M?ller said in a telephone interview.

M?ller said he was punched in the face several times when he tried to keep the attacker out of his room.

National media identified the assailant as 28-year-old Timur Tashtamirov.

M?ller dismissed media reports that his acquaintance had insulted the attacker when they met in the hotel's restaurant earlier that night. They had neither dined in the hotel nor had they met the attacker previously, he said. He added that he did not believe reports that the attacker was a biker himself.

But the hotel's restaurant manager, Yekaterina Kiderova, offered a different account.

"They were all in the restaurant, and they were all drunk," she said by telephone from Irbit. While in the restaurant, she said, heated words were exchanged, and police were called in after things later escalated upstairs.

She declined to comment on who started the fight.

Police on the scene established the identities of those involved, and a criminal case has been opened, Gorelykh said.

"The incident has been classified as an assault and act of hooliganism," he said.

The other hotel guest, a resident of the Tyumen region, has admitted to arguing with M?ller's acquaintance and beating the German diplomat when he tried to step in, Gorelykh said.

Staff Writer Svetlana Osadchuk contributed to this report.