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Azerbaijan Police Break Up Opposition Rally in Baku


Police in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku have broken up another rally by opposition protesters, this one just two weeks before parliamentary elections.

Hundreds of protesters chanting "free elections" gathered in downtown Baku Sunday, as they have in recent weeks, even though officials had not authorized the rally.

Police said they arrested 15 people, but news accounts put the figure higher, saying dozens had been arrested. The Associated Press reports that police used truncheons to break up the rally and quoted opposition sources as saying some people needed medical attention.

The opposition fears that the government plans to rig parliamentary elections scheduled for November 6, but the government says the vote will be free.

A U.S. State Department spokesman recently said Azerbaijani government actions raise questions about its commitment to a democratic campaign.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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