Gunmen opened fire today on a crowd outside a mosque, killing one person and wounding another, in Azerbaijan's Gumbashly village near the border with Iran, local media reported. Several cars of armed men drove into Gumbashly in the early morning and opened fire on a crowd gathered outside a mosque, Novosti-Azerbaijan and ANS TV channel reported. Police said two suspects had been arrested and an investigation into the incident was underway.
The authorities in Azerbaijan have warned of the rising threat from Islamic militants, jailing dozens of alleged extremists in recent years. They include two Lebanese and four Azerbaijani citizens convicted last year of plotting attacks on the Israeli and US embassies in Baku. But critics accuse the Azerbaijani authorities of using the threat of extremism as a cover for persecuting political opponents.