BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Three opposition activists in Azerbaijan were arrested before an upcoming protest, and law enforcement agencies accused them of preparing to use incendiary bombs to incite violence.
A statement issued late Friday by the National Security Agency and prosecutors said agents searched the homes of all three student activists and in two of them found glass bottles filled with flammable liquid. The agents also found drugs in all three homes and, in one of them, cash worth nearly $120,000, the statement said.
The opposition youth movement NIDA accused authorities of attempting to silence protesters and intimidate those fighting for democracy in the oil-rich former Soviet state. NIDA also quoted parents of two of the arrested activists accusing agents of planting the bottles and drugs.
The opposition has called a protest for Sunday afternoon in the center of Baku, the capital, to express anger over the deaths of three soldiers within the past two weeks.
A protest in January after the death of a military conscript drew several hundred people and was broken up by police.
The Defense Ministry said two of the soldiers who died recently had committed suicide and the third had died suddenly while on duty.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.