Sunday , April 2 2023

Azerbaijan strongly protests to Iran after fatal embassy shooting


BAKU: A gunman shot dead a security guard and wounded two other people at Azerbaijan’s embassy in Iran on Friday, in an attack Baku branded an “act of terrorism” that it said was the result of Tehran failing to heed its calls for improved security.

Police in Tehran said they had arrested a suspect and Iranian authorities condemned the incident but played down talk of any political motive for the attack.

The incident comes amid increased tensions between Azerbaijan and Iran, which is home to a large ethnic Azeri minority after Baku appointed its first-ever ambassador to Israel this month.

“The attacker broke through the guard post, killing the head of security with a Kalashnikov assault rifle,” Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said.

A video posted on social media appeared to show a gunman running past a guard post and forcing his way into the embassy building, firing through a door.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, quoted on a government site, said that based on evidence and initial observations the gunman’s motive was “completely personal”.

“Necessary security measures have been taken to continue normal activities at the embassy and diplomats of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Tehran,” he said.

Azeri anger

However, the Azeri foreign ministry said it planned shortly to evacuate its embassy staff from Tehran. It also summoned the Iranian ambassador in Baku to express its anger and demand justice.

In a strongly worded statement, the ministry said an “anti-Azerbaijani campaign” in Iran had contributed to the attack, without elaborating, and accused Tehran of long ignoring its appeals to bolster security at the embassy.

“Unfortunately, the latest bloody terrorist act demonstrates the serious consequences of the failure to give the necessary attention to our constant appeals in this regard,” it said.

(Int’l News Desk)

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