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Azerbaijan Commemorates Victims Of Deadly Soviet Crackdown

BAKU -- Azerbaijan is commemorating the victims of a totalitarian crackdown by Soviet troops on January 20, 1990, that dispersed a crowd of anti-Kremlin protesters in Baku.

According to Azerbaijani officials, 137 protesters were killed during the crackdown.

Another 744 were wounded and 841 were arrested.

The tragic event, known as "Black January," has been marked in Azerbaijan each year since the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991.

At noon on January 20, a minute of silence was held across the country.

All national flags were being flown at half-staff.

Authorities also have increased security in Baku for the anniversary.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev visited the Alley of Martyrs, which honors the victims of the Soviet crackdown.

Aliyev also laid flowers on an eternal flame that honors the memory of all of Azerbaijan's citizens who have lost their lives for the country, including soldiers as well as anti-Soviet demonstrators.

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