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Female Mayor Pummeled With Rods

Two assailants beat the female mayor of a Ryazan region town with metal bars and shot her driver with an air gun when he tried to defend her, news reports said Tuesday.

The attack on Novomichurinsk Mayor Yelena Shumilova took place Monday on the steps of the local administration building, local news web site reported.

Shumilova was hospitalized with a head trauma, a broken nose and a possible concussion, while the driver suffered a shoulder bruise, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

The unidentified attackers fled the scene. A criminal case has been opened on assault charges, punishable with up to three years in prison, a regional police spokesman told Interfax.

Ryazan Governor Oleg Kovalyov denounced the attack and ordered the capture of the assailants regardless of their social status. “Any person who dares to lift his hand against a woman deserves double punishment,” he said, Interfax reported.

Police did not have any firm leads Tuesday, Rossiiskaya Gazeta said.

Novomichurinsk, a town of 19,000, hosts the Ryazan electricity station, one of the most powerful oil-powered electricity stations in the world.

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