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Azerbaijan Says Al-Qaeda-Linked Militant Leader Killed


Azerbaijan's security forces say they have killed the head of a group that Baku alleges is linked to Al-Qaeda, and have arrested 19 of his supporters.

The National Security Ministry said the militants were planning to carry out terrorists attacks inside Azerbaijan.

The ministry said the arrests were made in several regions of the country.

It identified the leader of the group as Azerbaijani citizen Vugar Padarov, and said he was killed when he resisted arrest.

Those arrested had reportedly been trained in Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and some had fought against NATO troops in Afghanistan, the ministry said.

In July, Azerbaijan jailed 17 members of a group it said was linked to Al-Qaeda for sentences of between five years and life.

Based on reporting byReuters, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service, and Interfax

With reporting by Interfax and Reuters

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