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Elders Demand Probe Into Deadly Violence During Azerbaijani Police Raid

Protesters rally in Nardaran on November 26.
Protesters rally in Nardaran on November 26.

Village elders from a settlement on the outskirts of Baku have called for talks with the authorities a day after a police raid in their community turned violent.

The elders are calling for an investigation into the events of November 26 in the Nardaran settlement.

They also are demanding the return of the bodies of four residents who were killed

Meanwhile, young men in Nardaran on November 27 were poised at stone barricades built overnight by residents at the entrances of the settlement.

Azerbaijan's Interior Ministry says two police officers and four suspected militants were killed during a raid on a "criminal gang" that was planning terrorist attacks in the country.

At least 14 people, including group leader Taleh Bagirzade, were detained in the November 26 raid.

The Interior Ministry and the Prosecutor-General's Office in Baku said in a statement that Bagirzade led a group called "Muslim Unity" that has been operating "under the guise of religion and planning to destabilize" the country by committing "mass clashes and terrorist attacks."

The statement said members of the group fired automatic weapons and threw hand grenades at police during the raid.

Residents of the predominantly Shi'ite village told RFE/RL that the deaths occurred as a result of violent protests that were sparked by the detention of "several believers."

With reporting by and

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