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Azerbaijani Security Officials Say Eurovision Terror Attacks Thwarted


The Crystal Hall in Baku, the newly built venue where Eurovision Song Contest was held between May 22 and 26

The Crystal Hall in Baku, the newly built venue where Eurovision Song Contest was held between May 22 and 26

Azerbaijan’s National Security Ministry says several terrorist attacks, including one planned for the eve of the Eurovision Song Contest, were thwarted by the Caucasus nation's secret services.

Officials said the attacks were planned by “a transnational terrorist group led by Vugar Padarov."

Padarov was quoted by Azerbaijani officials last month as a suspected Islamist militant allied with Al-Qaeda.

Officials said Padarov has been killed in a shoot-out with security operatives, and some 40 members of the alleged terrorist group were arrested and their weapons confiscated in raids inside Azerbaijan, including along the border with Russia’s volatile republic of Daghestan.

Officials say Padarov’s group planned attacks targeting President Ilham Aliyev and Baku Crystal Hall, where the semifinals and finals of the Eurovision Song Contest were held between May 22 and 26, and other sites.

Based on reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS
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