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Turkmenistan president fires Central Bank chief, other officials

The autocratic leader of Turkmenistan has fired the nation's chief banker and several other officials in the energy-rich ex-Soviet nation.

State television reported Saturday that President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov dismissed Central Bank head Tuvakmammet Japarov and chiefs of two other state-run banks for unspecified "flaws in their work."

The firings came after Berdymukhamedov issued a reprimand to Japarov and several other bankers for receiving regular bonuses and ordered them to pay them back.

Berdymukhamedov also fired Kakageldy Abdullayev, the head of Turkmengaz state natural gas company over a low output and the failure to properly oversee the use of gas resources. Turkmenistan boasts rich natural gas reserves estimated to be the fourth largest in the world.

Berdymukhamedov has run the Central Asian nation with an iron fist since 2006.