Azerbaijan’s law enforcement authorities issue joint statement on armed attack on Ganja city mayor

Azerbaijan’s law enforcement authorities issue joint statement on armed attack on Ganja city mayor
# 06 July 2018 13:54 (UTC +04:00)

The Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Security Service have issued another joint statement on an armed attack committed against Ganja City Mayor Elmar Valiyev, APA reports.

"As reported, on 3 July 2018, Ganja-born Yunis Safarov shot and wounded Ganja City Executive Authority Head Elmar Valiyev and Ganja City Police Department employee Gasim Ashbazov. A serious of investigations revealed that the crime committed by Russian citizen Yunis Safarov was a preplanned terrorist attack, reads the statement.

It also became clear that in 2016 Yunis Safarov went to Iran and lived in the city of Qom for eight months, and also underwent military training within the ranks of armed groups together with Azerbaijani citizen Rasim Asadov in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic, the statement says.

“In 2017, Yunis Safarov returned to Ganja and in June of that year he attacked a police officer at the Ganja branch of Kapitalbank to obtain firearms and took the officer’s Makarov pistol after hitting him in the head. Then he started chasing Ganja City Mayor Elmar Valiyev in January 2018 in order to kill him. When his suspicious behavior drew attention from a police officer, he opened fire at him and wounded him, and then fled the scene,” according to the statement.

The statement further says that on 3 July 2018, Yunis Safarov arrived at the building of the Ganja City Executive Authority and attempted to kill Elmar Valiyev and a police officer who was with him.

“A series of investigations revealed that by committing a terrorist attack, Yunis Safarov intended to create a Sharia-ruled Islamic state in Azerbaijan, murder some well-known statesmen in order to cause a stir, chaos and panic in the republic and to organize a forced seizure of power. With the aim of achieving his goal, Safarov prepared a video message to Azerbaijani citizens on behalf of the movement “Muslim unity”, sent it to like-minded people in foreign countries and proposed them to distribute this video throughout the republic in the event of a terrorist attack in Ganja on July 3.”

“In the video, Safarov says ‘I kill the man who left three children of “Muslim unity” head Taleh Baghirzade without a father, let this be an example! Kill the enemies of Islam, supporters of Islamic society must come to power in Azerbaijan!’ Safarov also called on the people to fight against officials,” reads the statement.

As a result of the investigative and operational measures taken, another 3 members of an organized criminal group, who participated in the preparation of the crime together with Safarov, were detained.

Measures are underway to detain and bring to responsibility other members of the organized criminal group.

The statement notes that legal measures will be taken against those who call for terrorist acts and a forced change of the constitutional order in the republic.