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Sunni Mosque In Azerbaijani Threatened With Closure

The Mushfiqabad mosque in Baku

The Mushfiqabad mosque in Baku

BAKU -- Azerbaijani police have warned the clergy of a Sunni mosque outside of Baku that it may be closed because it is not officially registered, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The clergy at the mosque, which is located in Mushfiqabad, say they have applied to register and submitted the requisite documentation.

Mubariz Qachayev, the mosque's imam, told journalists on May 20 that police had warned him they would disperse believers from the mosque if he tried to conduct Friday prayers today. Qachayev's assistant led the prayers instead and police did not intervene.

The Mushfiqabad mosque has reportedly been frequented by some adherents of Salafi Islam since the closure of the Abu Bekr Mosque in Baku after an explosion in August 2008 killed two people and injured 15.