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Georgian citizen kills 13 people in Azerbaijan

By Temuri Kiguradze
Friday, May 1
At least thirteen people were killed and ten wounded in a shooting incident in the Azerbaijan capital Baku on April 30. According to Azeri law enforcers the attacker was a 28-year old ethnic Azeri citizen of Georgia called Farda Gadirov.

Baku media has reported that the shootings took place at the Baku State Oil and Gas University when the attacker entered the building in the morning and began shooting all the students and professors he encountered. While Azeri officials have not cited any motive for the crime, witnesses have stated that the attacker had had a quarrel with other students some time before the shooting.

According to official information Gadirov killed 13 people and then committed suicide in one of the classrooms. However some independent reports give the number of victims as 17 and state that there were two or even three attackers.

The Georgian Embassy in Azerbaijan has confirmed that the killer was a Georgian citizen and a resident of the Kvemo-Kartli region of southern Georgia which is mostly populated by ethnic Azeris. Georgian journalists have visited Gadirov’s home town and spoken to his neighbours who characterized him as a “calm and very intelligent young man from a good family.” The investigation into the incident is being conducted under the personal control of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliev.

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed its condolences to the families of the victims of the shootings. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expresses its deep sorrow over the tragedy which took place in the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 30 April 2009. This cruel slaughter left 13 innocent people dead and others wounded. Georgia unequivocally condemns this criminal act and expresses the hope that the investigation will bring to light all details of the incident. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expresses its profound sympathy to the people of Azerbaijan, in particular, to the kith and kin of the tragedy victims,” says the special statement by the Ministry published soon after the incident.