Azeri air forces head shot dead: Defence ministry

The head of Azerbaijan's air force, Rail Rzayev, was shot dead in Baku, a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

Azeri air forces head shot dead: Defence ministry

The head of Azerbaijan's air force, Rail Rzayev, was shot dead in Baku on Wednesday, a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

"We confirm that he was shot at the entrance to his home and he died in hospital," said spokesman Eldar Sabiroglu.

He was the most senior official in ex-Soviet Azerbaijan to have been killed since the 1990s.

Oil producer Azerbaijan is part of the strategically important but fragile South Caucasus where Russia and the United States are competing for influence.

The Muslim state lies on the Caspian Sea coast and is the entrance point to a pipeline pumping oil from Asia to Europe.

Azerbaijan is still technically at war with its neighbour Armenia over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where ethnic Armenian separatists threw off Azeri control during a war in the early 1990s.

Reuters

Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2009, 11:45
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