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Opposition Supporters Arrested in Azerbaijan


Authorities in Azerbaijan say they have detained at least two dozen supporters of fugitive opposition leader Rasul Guliyev for planning demonstrations to mark his planned return from self-imposed exile Monday.

Officials say the opposition activists were detained overnight on suspicion of organizing unrest, accusing them of planning to protest Mr. Guliyev's impending arrest when he arrives in Baku.

Mr. Guliyev is Azerbaijan's former parliamentary speaker. He fled Azerbaijan for the United States nine years ago after falling out of favor with late president Heidar Aliyev. Azerbaijani authorities have accused Mr. Guliyev of embezzlement. He denies the charge.

The politician says he plans to run in next month's parliamentary elections. Authorities have said they will arrest Mr. Guliyev immediately upon his return. Security has been stepped up around the airport.

Some information for this story provided by AP and Reuters.

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