Page last updated at 13:31 GMT, Friday, 1 May 2009 14:31 UK

Man detained over Baku shooting

People lay flowers in memory of the victims (1 May 2009)
Hundreds of students laid flowers and lit candles in memory of the victims

Police in Azerbaijan have detained a man in connection with Thursday's shooting at the state oil academy in Baku, in which 12 people were killed.

Prosecutors said Nadir Aliyev was a friend of the gunman, Farda Qadirov.

Mr Qadirov, 29, who has been identified as a Georgian of Azeri origin, shot himself dead after being surrounded by security forces inside the academy.

Hundreds of students gathered outside the site on Friday to lay flowers and light candles in memory of the victims.

"I came here to remember those students and teachers who died," Rakhman Badanov told the AFP news agency.

"We are all in shock because of this tragedy. This could have happened to any of us, at any of our schools," he added.

At least 13 others were injured in the attack and a number are said to still be in hospital in a critical condition.


BBC South Caucasus correspondent Tom Esslemont says Thursday's shooting was the first of its kind in Azerbaijan and has been met with disbelief in the quiet and prestigious surroundings of the university.

Students flee the oil academy (30 April 2009)
The attack took place inside one of the country's most prestigious universities

A statement released by Azerbaijan's prosecutor-general's office on Friday gave few details about Mr Aliyev.

A spokesman said investigators were still trying to work out whether he might have been related to the gunman. Unconfirmed reports said they had been friends and from the same region of Georgia.

Still little is known about the gunman himself.

Police and witnesses said he climbed from the first floor to the sixth floor of the college building, shooting at random with a Russian-made semi-automatic pistol. Most of the victims were shot in the head, they added.

"We were in an exam, we heard gunshots, we went out of the classroom in panic and saw a gunman opening fire on everyone," Bekir Belek, a Turkish student, told CNN-Turk television from hospital.

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.

Meanwhile, education officials said they were considering whether to increase security at schools and universities across the country.

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