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Assassination Attempt Made on Member of Azerbaijani Parliament

By Timucin Turksoy March 29, 2023


MP Fazil Mustafa's personal vehicle after the assassination attempt in front of his house, March 28, 2023 / Courtesy

A member of the Azerbaijani parliament, Fazil Mustafa, was wounded after being shot in front of his house by an unknown assailant on Tuesday.

As a result of the armed attack, Mustafa sustained injuries to his leg and shoulder and was taken to the hospital where he underwent two consecutive surgeries on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to him, the attack took place when he wanted to drive his car into the garage.

“… Suddenly the windshield of the car was broken. I didn’t understand what happened. I felt a terrible pain in my shoulder. And only after the pain, I realized that it was a shooting, I heard the sounds of gunfire,” Mustafa told local media after the incident.

“I opened the door and got out of the car. I had to take a few steps towards the gate when the second bullet hit me. I got wounded on my leg.”

Following the incident, the Interior Ministry of Azerbaijan promptly initiated an operative-investigative group to identify the perpetrator and any possible accomplices.

Meanwhile, the State Security Service (SSS) of Azerbaijan has launched a criminal investigation under Article 277 (attempted assassination of a statesman or public figure with the intention of terminating their official or political activities or seeking revenge for such activities) and Article 228.2.1 (illegal acquisition, possession, transportation, and carrying of firearms, their components, and ammunition by an organized group) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The SSS confirmed that the attack involved the use of a “Kalashnikov” brand automatic rifle and has classified it as a terrorist act.

“All-out urgent operational-investigative measures are being implemented in order to identify the person who committed the terrorist act and other persons connected with the crime and bring them to criminal responsibility,” the Service said in a statement on Wednesday.

Several Azerbaijani media outlets have published facts that may aid in determining the motives behind the crime.

As per the publications, the armed attack took place on Tuesday, which coincided with the celebration of the professional holiday of the State Security Service (SSS) and Foreign Intelligence Service employees of Azerbaijan. Additionally, the day before the attack, the State Security Service had detained members of a spy network recruited by Iran, which could be a potential motive for the attack. Other facts that may be related to the incident include the opening of the Azerbaijani embassy in Israel on Wednesday, as well as MP Fazil Mustafa’s strong anti-Iran stance.

Earlier this year, an armed attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Iran’s capital Tehran left one dead and two injured. On the morning of January 27, a man armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle broke through the embassy’s security post, killed the head of the security service of the embassy, and wounded two more security officers before the embassy staff managed to disarm the criminal after a violent scuffle.