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Funeral Held For Slain Azerbaijani Journalist

Huseinov 4 March 2005 -- Funeral services were held today in Baku for Azerbaijani Editor Elmar Huseinov, whose magazine "Monitor" had been sharply critical of the country's authorities.

Huseinov was gunned down two days ago in a still unexplained shooting at his apartment building in Baku.

Opposition leaders, who allege that Huseinov may have been targeted by the authorities because of his journalism activities, have urged opposition supporters to use the occasion of the funeral for a show of unity and mass protest against the government.

President Ilham Aliyev has urged the opposition not to use Huseinov's killing to foment unrest.

Aliyev said he has ordered police to swiftly solve the killing, which he called a provocation by those who wish to tarnish Azerbaijan's image in the world.

The United States said an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was expected to arrive in Baku today to assist Azerbaijani authorities with their investigation of the slaying, which has been widely condemned by western governments and rights groups as an attack on freedom of expression.