Protests rattle Azerbaijan as oil price slump hits economy

Exports of hydrocarbons constitute up to three quarters of Azerbaijan's state revenues, making the Caucasus country's economy highly dependent on global energy pricesHit hard by falling oil prices, ex-Soviet Azerbaijan has plunged into an economic crisis that has seen rare protests shake the authorities in the tightly-controlled nation. The government — which under strongman Ilham Aliyev allows few signs of dissent — sent in troops to quell the unrest in the city of Siazan and several other provincial towns where tear gas, water cannon, and rubber bullets were reportedly used against stone-throwing protesters. The government blamed opposition activists for staging riots, an accusation they rejected as groundless.

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