55 people detained in Azerbaijan following violent protests

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Azerbaijani prosecutors say 55 people have been detained following violent protests that were triggered by soaring consumer prices in the energy-rich Caspian Sea nation.

Protesters blocked streets and clashed with police during Wednesday's riots in Siyazan, a city near the Caspian Sea coast, about 100 kilometers (about 60 miles) north of the capital, Baku.

The Prosecutor General's office said Thursday that several policemen were injured and two police vehicles damaged in the violence. It accused the opposition Popular Front and Musavat parties of provoking the riots.

Musavat rejected the accusations, saying the protest was triggered by price hikes following a sharp devaluation of the national currency due to plummeting global oil prices.

Azerbaijani media reported that protests against rising consumer prices have also been held in several other regions.

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