Azerbaijan's president, Ilham Aliev, on Monday fired Fikret Sadigov the head of the country's largest chemical company, state-owned Azerkimya.
No reason was given for the dismissal of Sadigov, who is also a member of Azerbaijan's parliament, but it came amid a wave of dismissals connected with allegations of a coup plot against the country's leadership.
Sadigov was the fifth high-ranking official to be fired in a week.
Azerbaijan has seen political tensions rise in the run-up to next month's parliamentary vote. Opposition parties have been holding rallies in the capital, Baku, nearly every weekend, accusing the government of plotting to rig the elections, and police have violently broken up recent attempts to defy a ban on downtown protests, reports the AP.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building