Bloomberg News

Azeri Government Says Situation Normalized After Riots, Looting

March 02, 2012

Azeri authorities said the situation was brought under control in the country’s northern region of Quba after a rare outbreak of civil unrest in the energy-rich former Soviet republic

“Police and Interior Troops took action within the law to restore order,” the Interior Ministry and the prosecutor’s office said in a joint statement broadcast on state television channel AzTV. “The situation is under control.”

Hundreds of people in Quba burnt and looted the local governor’s house and damaged his office yesterday. Three security officers sustained life-threatening injuries in clashes with about 1,000 protesters. Criminal proceedings were initiated into the “violent disruption of public order,” AzTV cited the statement as saying.

The riots broke out after the district governor said Quba residents were ready “to sell their land, families and motherland” for about $40, according to a video recording of the speech posted on Google Inc.’s YouTube.

Quba, which has a population of about 160,000, is 164 kilometers (102 miles) north of the capital, Baku, near the Azeri border with Russia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zulfugar Agayev in Baku at zagayev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Hellmuth Tromm at htromm@bloomberg.net


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