Azerbaijani security services have killed two men suspected of plotting “terrorist attacks” in the secular ex-Soviet country with a mainly Muslim population.

The two Azerbaijani nationals were shot dead during a special operation on Wednesday night, the oil-rich Caucasus nation’s State Security Service said in a statement, adding that another suspected “terrorist” had been arrested.

“The armed group, the Caucasus Jamaat, has been planning terrorist attacks in Azerbaijan and had links with terrorist organizations involved in armed conflicts abroad,” the statement said without giving further details.

In February, Azerbaijan arrested eight men for fighting alongside the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria and Iraq.Local media had previously reported numerous cases of Azerbaijani nationals fighting alongside IS jihadists, including within the ranks of the Jaish al-Muhajireen wal Ansar (JMA) group consisting mostly of Islamists from the former Soviet Union.

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