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Two Police Killed In Clash With Protesters In Azerbaijan's Second-Largest City

Protesters have clashed with police, killing two officers in Azerbaijan's second-largest city, a week after a shooting that targeted the city's chief executive.

A statement from the Prosecutor-General's Office on July 10 said between 150 and 200 people had gathered in the center of Ganca, where they were confronted by police.

As many as 40 people were detained, the statement said, and two officers were killed in the unrest.

The statement said the crowd included members of a "radical religious group" but no further details were released. Interior Ministry spokesman Ehsan Zahidov was unable to immediately provide more information when contacted by RFE/RL.

It wasn't immediately clear if the unrest was connected to the July 3 attack on the city's chief executive, Elmar Valiyev.

He and his bodyguard were hospitalized with various injuries after being shot in front of Valiyev’s office. Police said a man was arrested, but gave no further details.

The July 3 shooting came the same day as a nationwide blackout that was caused by an explosion at a hydroelectric power station.

The blackouts and the shooting were widely discussed by Azerbaijanis on social media, with many criticizing the government over the power outages.

On July 9, the Interior Ministry announced that 14 people had been sentenced to jail terms ranging from 10 to 30 days for online comments about the outage and the shooting in Ganca.