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Arrest linked to 12 killings in Azerbaijan

POLICE in Azerbaijan have arrested a former neighbor of the gunman who killed 12 people and committed suicide at an oil industry academy, prosecutors said yesterday, but they did not reveal how they suspect the former neighbor was linked to the shooting.

Hundreds of people placed red roses, carnations and other flowers outside the building to commemorate the victims.

Nadir Aliyev was arrested for questioning as a suspect in connection with Thursday's shooting rampage at the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy in Baku, prosecutor general's office spokesman Eldar Sultanov said. He said Aliyev is a Georgian citizen who grew up in the same village in Georgia as the gunman, Farda Gadyrov.

Georgia borders Azerbaijan to the northwest.

Gadyrov, 29, entered the academy and climbed up five floors, shooting everyone he met along the way, according to a joint statement from the Interior Ministry and state prosecutors. He turned his pistol on himself when he saw police approaching, the statement said.

Ten injured victims remained hospitalized yesterday, five in serious condition, Health Ministry spokesman Anar Gadyrli said.

Authorities in Azerbaijan refused to say what role they suspect Aliyev played.

In an interview excerpted in Azerbaijani media, a man identified as Aliyev's brother Namiq Aliyev said Nadir Aliyev worked at a fast-food shop not far from the oil academy and knew the gunman but had not been in contact with him recently.

Namiq Aliyev was quoted as saying his brother had been detained and released on Thursday, but then detained again.

Authorities have said nothing about a motive for the shooting.


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