Azeri Police Clash With Shopkeepers Protesting Rent Increases

Azeri police clashed with hundreds of shopkeepers protesting rent increases south of the capital Baku, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Interior said today in an e-mailed statement.

Demonstrators in Bina, Azerbaijan’s largest shopping center, injured 10 police officers and damaged their cars, the government said. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the shopkeepers, who blocked a nearby highway.

Demonstrations are mostly prohibited in the energy-rich former Soviet republic, which plans to hold presidential elections in October.

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