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Security forces in Azerbaijan claim to have killed the head of an al Qaeda linked group and arrested 19 of his followers.

The leader, Azeri citizen Vugar Padarov, was said to have been shot while resisting arrest.

Those held are thought to have been trained in Iran, Syria and Pakistan and were plotting to attack targets in the country, according to the government.

Last July, Azerbaijan jailed 17 members of a group it said was linked to al Qaeda, to between five years and life.

And last month, security forces arrested several Azeris and Iranians on suspicion of spying for Iran, plotting to attack Western targets and smuggling arms from Iran into Azerbaijan.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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