65 detained at violent Azerbaijan headscarf rally; 20 police officers injured

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Police in Azerbaijan clashed Friday with dozens of demonstrators in the capital protesting a ban on the wearing of headscarves in the mainly Muslim ex-Soviet nation's secondary schools.

Police in Baku said 65 people were detained and 20 officers injured during the protest in front of the Education Ministry building in central Baku. Demonstrators used sticks and stones to attack baton-wielding police officers attempting to clear the area.

Religious communities were severely repressed during Soviet times, but the role of Islam has grown in Azerbaijan since the oil-rich Caspian Sea nation became independent in 1991.