Iranian national with 32 kilograms of drugs killed in Azerbaijan border shootout

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Azerbaijani border guards have killed an Iranian national in a shootout on the border with Iran, officials in Baku said Tuesday, adding that 32 kilograms of drugs had been found on him.

The incident took place Monday in Azerbaijan’s Jabrayil district, close to the 661-kilometre (400-mile) border with Iran, Azerbaijan’s border guard service and the office of prosecutor general said in a joint statement.

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“Border guards returned fire after six armed men coming from the Islamic Republic of Iran violated state border, ignored warnings orders ‘Don’t move!’ and opened fire,” the statement said.

“One violator, an Iranian national... was killed,” it said, adding that “a Kalashnikov automatic rifle and 32 kilograms and 270 grams (71.14 pounds) of narcotics were found on him.”

“Five other violators managed to flee from the scene and one of them was later detained at the frontier.”

Azerbaijan lies on a major drug smuggling route from Afghanistan and Iran to Europe and Russia, according to the 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released by the US Department of State.

The ex-Soviet Caucasus nation has in the past reported numerous incidents involving drug traffickers attempting to cross over from Iran.

Last May, two Azerbaijani border guards were killed by armed drug smugglers on the border with Iran.

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