Thirteen killed, thirteen injured in Baku shooting incident
At least 13 people are reported dead, with at least another 13 injured, after a shooting incident at the Baku Oil Academy in Azerbaijan on Thursday morning, according to the local news agency Novosti Azerbaijan.
The gunman was reported to have killed a security guard and a cleaner after entering the academy and continued shooting at students and staff with a Makarov pistol while ascending a staircase, Ria Novosti news agency says.
“I was actually there. We were in class when we heard shooting but we didn’t leave. Later we went out of the room and saw dead bodies everywhere. Then policemen, SWAT teams and doctors arrived. We were evacuated and sent home. I knew two people who got killed. A lot were wounded too,” student Mudzhahid Godzhaev said.
After the police arrived at the scene, the gunman was found to have shot himself. It appears he was a Georgian national and had a passport under the name of 29-year-old Fyarda Asad oglu Gadirov, as well as three cartridge pouches of 71 rounds in total and two cartridges for the pistol itself, Ria Novosti reports.
Novosti Azerbaijan news agency says the Georgian Embassy in Baku has confirmed that a Georgian national is responsible for the shooting incident at the Oil Academy, newsru.com website says.
A criminal case has been launched into the incident.
News agencies are linking the shooting to an ongoing dispute between local and foreign students at the Academy.
Interfax quotes Ali Gasanov from the Presidential office as playing down any links between the shootings and attempts to destabilize the country:
“I don’t think the incident was planned and I don’t think its goal was to destabilize political situation in the country.”
It has been revealed that Gadirov was a single man who had been never brought to trial. Gadirov’s family lives in Russia and his father earlier worked as a literature teacher.
Azerbaijan’s APA news agency reports that according to Fyarda Gadirov’s aunt Rena Gadirova, who lives in the Georgian settlement of Dashtep, her nephew visited her a month ago. He was unemployed then, and after some time left saying that a friend had invited him to work in Baku.
According to Rena Gadirova, Farda was at odds with his father who wanted the young man to live in Russia with him.
Farda’s uncle Samed Gadirov, who “has business in Moscow”, said he knows nothing about the incident and added that he is at loggerheads with his nephew.
“They are very miserable people,” Samed Gadirov said about his relatives.
Meanwhile Gadirov’s father said that his son was a quiet, young man.
"He abstained from drinking alcohol and smoking. I am shocked. I can’t believe he could do that, that he is guilty. He didn’t even know how to hold a pistol correctly," Gadirov’s father said.
He added that Farda earlier lived with him in the Moscow region. "Seven or eight months ago Farda confessed to me that he couldn’t live in Russia any more. He was a citizen of Georgia. He said he was going to Georgia and wanted to find a job there," Gadirov’s father is quoted as saying by the Ria Novosti news agency.
The case is now under the personal control of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
Eyewitnesses say some people had to jump out of the windows to escape the shooting, with local journalist Lagin Sultanova outlining the still sketchy details to RT:
“The faculty dean was among those killed. The wounded are in hospital. Some are badly wounded and are undergoing surgery.”
Six of those injured are said to be in a serious condition in hospital.
Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper has posted the list of those killed who have been identified:
1. Ayaz Bagirov, 21
2. Yusif Bandaliyev, 20
3. Tamella Azizova, 58 (a lecturer at the Academy and the mother of Aziz Azizov, a journalist from the Interfax-Azerbaijan news agency)
4. Talekh Mamedov, 21
5. Ramiz Abdullayev (Deputy Principal of the Academy)
6. Shafa Mamedova, 31 (she jumped out of the window trying to escape)
7. Dzheikhun Aslanov
8. Aina Gurbanova, 46
9. Savalan Dzhabbarov
10. Amin Abdullayev
11. Zemfira Guseinova (a laboratory assistant at the Academy)
Komsomolskaya Pravda says six of the injured have died in the hospital and there are two Sudanese citizens and a Syrian among them.
According to Ria Novosti, Shafa Mamedova is the daughter of the ‘Republic’ newspaper employee Afet Mamedova.
Also, one of the injured, Faig Rustambekov, who teaches at the Academy, is the father of Azerpress news agency employee Bakhram Rustambekov.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry has expressed condolences in connection with the tragedy, Novosti Georgia news agency reports.
Earlier there were conflicting reports as to how many gunmen were involved. ANS reported that there were two gunmen.The Baku Oil Academy is Azerbaijan's flagship university. Originally set up to provide technicians for the oil industry a hundred years ago, it now has a wider curriculum. It takes in students from Azerbaijan and other countries around the region.