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Azerbaijan launches special operation in Baku suburb following clashes with Islamists

December 01, 2015, 10:18 UTC+3 BAKU

Local citizens are reportedly demanding the return of the bodies of the Nardaran residents killed during the special operation on November 26

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© ITAR-TASS/Vitaly Belousov/Archive

BAKU, December 1. /TASS/. Law enforcement agencies have launched a special operation in Nardaran, a suburb of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, and interior troops have been deployed, the Interior Ministry, the National Security Ministry and the Prosecutor-General’s Office said on Tuesday.

The operation started at 8.00 a.m. on Tuesday (4.00 a.m. GMT) and is under control of the country’s president Ilham Aliyev who receives regular reports on the situation.

"Under the plan, interior forces of the Interior Ministry, a limited number of special equipment and troops of regular police units have entered the village," the ministries said.

Law enforcement agencies have stepped up security measures near Nardaran, setting up roadblocks and blocking access to the settlement, local media reports said. Security has been also tightened in the Baku metro.

Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency reported that local citizens are demanding the return of the bodies of the Nardaran residents allegedly killed during the special operation late last month.

Police have warned citizens against "taking steps posing a threat for public order, life and health of the representatives of the authorities."

Nardaran was the scene of clashes between police and radical Islamists on November 26. Islamists offered armed resistance to police in Nardaran opening gunfire and throwing a ball grenade. Two police officers were killed. Four radical Islamists were killed and another one died in hospital. Another 14 members of the illegal radical group, the Muslim Union, led by Taleh Bagirov, were detained in the operation.

The Interior Ministry and prosecutors say the group planned "to change the constitutional system in the country by force and create a religious state governed by the Sharia laws." The radicals also planned terror attacks against the authorities.

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