Details added (first version posted on 10:45)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 1
A special operation was launched in the Nardaran township of Baku Dec. 1 by Azerbaijani law enforcement authorities, according to a joint message issued by Azerbaijan's interior ministry, national security ministry and prosecutor general's office.
The operation, which started at 08:00 (GMT+4), is aimed at securing the rights, freedoms, and protecting the lawful interests of Azerbaijani citizens, as well as seizing arms and explosives.
The operation is under supervision of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who is being informed on the latest development of the situation.
A limited number of equipment and personnel of troops of the interior ministry and regular police units entered the township, and police posts have been set up in the area. An investigation group of the prosecutor general's office, the interior ministry and the national security ministry is currently operating on the scene.
In order to ensure the safety of the Nardaran residents during the operation, they were required to strictly comply with laws, and prevent the actions and conditions posing a threat to public order, life and health of the representative of authorities.
Serious measures will be immediately taken against the persons resisting to the forces holding the special operation, and against those with weapons or objects used as weapons, and violating public order, read the message.
According to the message, a special operation was carried out in Nardaran Nov. 26 to eliminate an armed criminal group, which was planning to break the social and political stability, organize provocations, terror acts, and mass unrests in Azerbaijan, and in general change constitutional order creating a religious state, governed by Sharia laws.
Four members of the criminal group, who used arms to resist the police, were eliminated during the operation Nov. 26, several people were injured. Two police officers, Vugar Nasibov and Ismail Tagiyev, died during the operation.
Four submachine guns, 12 grenades, three explosive devices, one of which can be controlled from distance, 10 Molotov cocktails, seven knives and daggers were seized at the incident scene.
Azerbaijani prosecutor general's office launched a criminal case on the Criminal Code's articles 120, 214, 220, 228, 233, 278, 279, 281, 283, 315, and others. Courts have decided to take a preventive measure in the form of arrest against 24 members of the criminal group led by Tale Baghirov.
Following the special operation, certain people attempted to hold unauthorized gatherings, called on residents to oppose the constitutional order, use force against the public authorities and mass insubordination. They blocked roads, built barricades, armed with various items. However, these illegal actions were prevented.
People illegally storing firearms, explosives and explosive devices were identified by the bodies of internal affairs and the prosecutor's office. The demands to voluntarily surrender the items were not met.
At the same time, a number of township residents, who are citizens of Azerbaijan, opposed the legal, secular and democratic order, and the state government, opposed the state authorities, put forward various conditions and claims.
The people, who have turned the religious radicalism and extremism into their belief and way of life, denied the state's laws and its attributes in Nardaran, and specifically violated the laws on the use of Azerbaijani language.
The attempts to maintain tension in Nardaran led to discontent among part of its residents and all citizens of the country who are concerned about this and demand to prevent the illegal actions against the constitutional order and security, to restore stability and public order, ensure normal work of state and municipal bodies, take decisive measures against the armed criminal groups.