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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2005, 16:22 GMT
In pictures: Azerbaijan protest

Protesters huddle under a huge national flag

In Baku, Azerbaijan, thousands have taken to the streets to protest at what they believe was systematic vote rigging in the country's parliamentary elections, held last weekend.

Opposition supporters in Baku

Popular discontent with the result has been mounting since the polls, which were won by President Ilham Aliyev's New Azerbaijan Party.

Opposition leaders Isa Gambar (left) and Ali Keremli

Although he backs the result, Mr Aliyev vows to punish those guilty of fraud. Opposition leaders Isa Gambar (left) and Ali Keremli joined a march into central Baku.

Crowds in Baku's Gelebe Square

An estimated 15,000 people filled Gelebe Square to hear opposition leaders call for the ruling government to resign.

Azerbaijan opposition supporters show their colours

Many came clad in the orange, a nod to the peaceful protests in Ukraine in 2004 which swept Viktor Yushchenko to power, and became known as the orange revolution.

Riot police on duty in Gelebe Square, Baku

The three-hour demonstration was officially sanctioned by the authorities, but there was a heavy police presence.

Protesters face police as they chant slogans and wave flags

Although police and protesters were squeezed close together, the atmosphere was largely peaceful and there were few signs of trouble.


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