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Monday, June 20, 2005

 

Massive Azerbaijan rally mainly peaceful

From The Los Angeles Times:

In the biggest protest in years, thousands of demonstrators chanting "freedom" and carrying portraits of President Bush marched across Azerbaijan's capital Saturday, demanding the resignation of the government and free parliamentary elections.

The gathering of about 20,000 marchers, the second such rally in as many weeks, was organized by three leading opposition parties that formed the Azadlig (Freedom) bloc to run in parliamentary elections set for November.

About 200 police in full riot gear stood guard around a central square where protesters gathered. Brief clashes erupted when demonstrators tried to push police away from the square and officers fought back with truncheons. Last month, police beat back protesters who tried to hold a banned rally in Baku and detained dozens.

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