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Azerbaijan Oil Academy mass shooting, 30 April 2009

Students laying flowers outside the Academy (Photo: Today.AZ)

Twelve people were shot dead and 13 more were wounded at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy in Baku on 30 April 2009. The gunman reportedly shot indiscriminately at students and staff as he climbed the five floors of the building. After realising that he was surrounded by security forces inside the Academy, he shot himself dead.

IANSA member Sudaba Shiraliyeva, director of the Baku-based Women and Modern World Centre, said: “There is a terrible feeling of loss is in the heart of every Baku citizen. We have not had any previous mass-shootings in our schools. Now, Azerbaijan joins the list of countries that have had such terrible tragedies, such as America, Germany and Russia.”

Sudaba Shiraliyeva highlighted that Azerbaijan has strict firearms laws and that it is not easy for civilians to have access to weapons. It is unclear how the gunman got the Russian-made semi-automatic Makarov pistol that he used during the assault. Three cartridge-belts with capacity of 40 bullets, 71 bullets and two magazines were seized from his body.

The Prosecutor General's Office has stated that a highly-qualified team of specialists has been appointed to solve the crime as soon as possible. There has been no indication yet as to the possible reason for the shooting, although the government has said it does not suspect it was politically motivated. Little has been revealed about the gunman himself there are rumours he had military training.

The day after the shooting hundreds of students gathered outside the Academy to lay flowers and light candles in memory of the victims. Sudaba Shiraliyeva said: “I am extremely grieved with this tragedy and I offer my condolence to families, relatives and friends of the victims; may they rest in peace.”

 
 

 

 
 

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