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Azerbaijan To Prevent Unsanctioned Rally

Baku, 3 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Azerbaijani authorities said today they will prevent an unsanctioned anti-government rally the opposition has called for tomorrow.

Government spokesman Ehsan Zahidov says no permit was issued to the opposition parties to hold the rally. Zahidov says the opposition's intent was to create a confrontation in Baku and that was unacceptable.

The head of the opposition Popular Front of Azerbaijan, Ali Kerimli, vowed the rally will be held in a central square in Baku. Kerimli says it is a constitutional right to hold a rally.

Police and protesters clashed last month at a similar rally, in which some 75 people were arrested.

(RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service, AFP)