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Azerbaijani Police Break Up Protests In Ismayilli

Azerbaijani Police Break Up Opposition Protesti
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January 24, 2013
On January 23, thousands of residents of the Azerbaijani town of Ismayilli demanded the resignation of the district's governor, then set fire to his home, to cars, and to a local motel. Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the demonstrators.
WATCH: Exclusive footage of the January 24 unrest by RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service

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By RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service
ISMAYILLI, Azerbaijan -- Police in the central Azerbaijani town of Ismayilli have broken up renewed protests that raged through the streets there.

Protests sprang up again on January 24 in the town, 150 kilometers northwest of the capital, Baku, but police in riot gear quickly broke them up.

The protesters, some of them throwing stones, have been demanding the resignation of the local governor, Nizami Alekberov. They also wanted the release of dozens of men who have been arrested during the rioting.

Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the latest protests.

The clashes caused dismay among the town's residents.

"Our small kids are sleeping in their beds, getting poisoned by [tear] gas," said one man. "How long can they go on shooting gas? We've had enough of this. We've had it up to here."

WATCH: A motel and numerous cars were set alight on January 23
Cars, Buildings Set On Fire In Azerbaijani Protesti
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January 24, 2013
Thousands of people protested overnight in the Azerbaijani town of Ismayilli, setting fire to cars and buildings, including a motel and the residence of a local governor. RFE/RL correspondents say local authorities have ignored repeated calls by residents to shut down the motel, which is said to be a brothel. The unrest erupted after the owner of the motel was reportedly involved in a car accident on January 23. (RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service)

On the evening of January 23, thousands of Ismayilli residents rampaged through the town. The unrest reportedly was triggered by a car accident involving the owner of the Chirag motel.

RFE/RL correspondents say authorities have ignored repeated calls by local residents to shut down the motel, the site of an alleged brothel.

The motel was set alight during the unrest. The protesters also set fire to the governor's residence and to cars.

Police are patrolling the streets in Ismayilli to prevent any resumption of the protests.

It's the second major protest in a week in Azerbaijan.

On January 19, police clashed with shopkeepers blocking a highway to protest rent increases at the country's largest shopping center in Baku.

In March 2012, rioters in the town of Quba, near Baku, also demanded the resignation of a local governor.

The unrest there came after the governor publicly called Quba residents "traitors" for selling their land cheaply. The governor was dismissed by President Ilham Aliyev one day after those riots.
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Comment Sorting
by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 24, 2013 14:39
The winter colds have taken their toll and the good people of Azeristan have gone nuts.What could be better than a brothel???Well two brothels of course!!! Shame on the good azeris-next thing they`d want is their prezident dissolve his child-bride harems!!!

by: from: Free Lezgistan
January 25, 2013 06:55

Ismayilli region is part of the native Lezgi lands occupied by the nomadic turkic tribes and their Kurdish rulers of the Baku republic.

by: Alex from: LA
January 25, 2013 08:36
This one did not turn into an Armenian thing yet!

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