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Azerbaijan Keeps Mum on Army Killings

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TEHRAN, Feb 23 (ICANA) – Azerbaijan's opposition lawmakers have demanded an answer from the Baku government after a soldier killed seven of his fellow servicemen at a military base.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 1:54:26 PM
Azerbaijan Keeps Mum on Army Killings

Several lawmakers called on the defense ministry to parliament to explain the reasons behind the killings, IRIB reported. The developments come after a soldier went on a rampage in the Goygol region in the west of the country, killing at least seven and wounding several others. Army authorities and defense officials have so far not named the killer or give any reasons for the incident. Figures shows hundreds of Azerbaijani servicemen have died in non-combat situation over the past six years. Several incidents of shooting rampages have taken place at various military bases over the past months in the central Asian country. Moreover, several soldiers are also killed in Azerbaijan each year due to substandard military installations. Azerbaijan's army joined the partnership for peace program of NATO in 1994 and since then has tightened the cooperation with this organization. Baku government has made several pledges of reforms within armed forces, but none of these promises were kept. Baku also practices a strict code of anti-Islamic practices and bars soldiers even from saying their prayers. The anti-religion agenda has caused uproar across the majority Muslim nation.

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