World

Car accident triggers unrest in Azerbaijan town

BAKU, Azerbaijan — A minor car accident Wednesday night in the resort town of ­Ismayilli ended up with a hotel being burned to the ground and several expensive vehicles torched.

The episode has exposed latent tensions nurtured by economic inequality and unresponsive governance in the oil-abundant Azerbaijan.

Trouble began when the owner of a hotel reacted to his sports car veering onto a sidewalk and colliding with an electricity pole by getting into a fight with another motorist. The owner, who police said might have been drunk, berated and swore at onlookers, prompting an angry reaction from Ismayilli residents.

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The dispute escalated, leading to around 3,000 people raiding the owner’s hotel and torching several of his cars.

Associated Press