A raid on a Shia religious ceremony in Azerbaijan has left at least four people dead as Baku launches a fresh wave of crackdown on the country’s majority Shia population.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement that the country's security forces had killed four Shias during a raid earlier in the day north of the capital Baku.
Reports by independent Azeri media said that the attack came as Shias gathered for a religious ceremony in the village of Nardaran to mark Arbaeen.
Azerbaijan is a majority Shia state of more than nine million people, with Shias accounting for 85 percent of the population. The secular government of Aliyev managed to suppress a Shia-dominated popular uprising in 2010 amid international outcry over his heavy-handed crackdown.