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Rubber bullets used in Azerbaijan to end protest

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March 10, 2013 09:57 AM EST | AP


BAKU, Azerbaijan — Police in the capital of Azerbaijan have broken up an unsanctioned protest rally by firing rubber bullets and water cannons at hundreds of demonstrators. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Sunday's demonstration was called to protest the recent deaths of three soldiers. Officials say two of them committed suicide and another died of unspecified causes. But protesters question the accounts of suicide.

Some of the more than 300 demonstrators were detained, but there were no immediate figures from police on how many or if they would be charged.

On Friday, three opposition activists were arrested and law enforcement agencies accused them of preparing to use incendiary bombs to incite violence at the rally.

Police in authoritarian Azerbaijan routinely take strong measures to put down any unauthorized opposition gatherings.