Published January 24, 2013
BAKU, Azerbaijan – Police in Azerbaijan says a mob in a central town torched a hotel and several cars in a rampage provoked by a minor vehicle collision.
Ismayilli district police said Thursday that several law enforcement officers were injured while trying to restore order overnight.
Trouble began when the owner of a local hotel reacted to his sports car veering onto a sidewalk and colliding with an electricity pole and got into a fight with another motorist. The dispute spiraled, leading to thousands of residents raiding the hotel and setting alight the owner's cars.
The crowd later assaulted the son of a district official.
Although the rioting does not appear to have been politically motivated, it highlights widespread frustrations over disparity between the poor and wealthy in the oil-rich former Soviet nation.