Accessibility links

Breaking News

Azerbaijan Investigates 'Terror Attack' After Lawmaker Is Shot and Wounded 

FILE - The skyline of Baku is reflected in the waters of an artificial waterfall near the Heydar Aliyev Center, Azerbaijan June 15, 2015.

Azerbaijan's State Security Service said on Wednesday it was investigating "a terror attack" after a lawmaker with strong anti-Iranian views was shot and wounded at his home.

Fazil Mustafa, a member of parliament, was hospitalized after receiving wounds to his shoulder and thigh when he was shot with a Kalashnikov assault rifle on Tuesday night, the security agency said in a statement.

His life was not at risk, it said, and a criminal investigation had been opened to identify the perpetrator.

Azeri news site quoted Mustafa, 57, as saying from hospital that he had been hit by two bullets while driving into his garage.

The State Security Service noted in its statement that Mustafa was known for his critical views on Iran, Azerbaijan's southern neighbor.

Relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, which has a large population of ethnic Azeris in its northwest, have been strained in recent months. In January, Azerbaijan closed its embassy in Tehran after what it called a "terrorist attack" that killed the embassy's head of security.

Azerbaijan has also deepened a longstanding relationship with Tehran's rival Israel, which on Wednesday formally opened an embassy in Baku.

At a joint news conference with Iran's foreign minister in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he hoped that "frictions" between Iran and Azerbaijan would soon be resolved. Russia maintains friendly relations with both countries.