On 15 July 2018, law enforcement authorities carried out an operation in Sumgait, detaining 18 people representing “radical and religious opposition” who allegedly planned to organise violent anti-government protests, according to an unidentified source familiar with the situation quoted by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
In a parallel development, Azeri police detained 22 people in Ganja, where on 10 July, a violent demonstration resulted in the death of two police officers. The protesters were demanding the release of Yunis Safarov, who was arrested on suspicion of organising the failed assassination attempt against Ganja Mayor Elmar Veliyev on 3 July.
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