Details added (first version posted on 20:47)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 26
The Caucasian Muslims Office (CMO) said it strongly dismisses the attempt to link the developments in the Baku township of Nardaran with religion.
"We regard these developments as an attempt to sow split within society and violently seize power, under organization of external and internal forces with certain political goals," the CMO said in a statement Nov. 26.
Earlier, four members of a criminal group, operating under the guise of religion, were killed in a police special operation in the Nardaran township, located 25 km away of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Two police officers were killed in the operation.
Fourteen members of the criminal group were arrested in the special operation along with the group's head Tale Baghirov.
"The Muslim Unity Movement, created by Tale Baghirov, had nothing to do with believers," said the CMO. "This movement is not recognized by the CMO as a religious organization, and hasn't the right to conduct religious propaganda."
The CMO said it regrets that the incident resulted in loss of human lives, and offered condolences to the families of those killed and a speedy recovery to those injured.
"We once again remind that Azerbaijani believers are loyal to their government, support the policy of the head of state, they are closely united around him and support the efforts to respond to such provocations," said the Caucasus Muslims Office.
"We are confident that such provocative actions won't be able to undermine the strong foundations of our state," noted the CMO.