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Baku, Azerbaijan -
A court in Azerbaijan has jailed an Islamic activist for 11 years on charges of plotting to disrupt public order and of drug and weapons possession, his lawyer said on Friday.
Abgyul Suleymanov was detained last August after allegedly organising Islamic protests outside embassies in the ex-Soviet state's capital.
He was initially accused of having ties to Iran and trying to install a theocracy in mainly Muslim but officially secular Azerbaijan.
Police said they found guns, hand grenades and narcotics during searches that accompanied the arrest of Suleymanov and two other alleged extremists.
The national security ministry said at the time of the arrests that the men had received money from the Iranian cultural centre in Baku to create a radical Islamist group.
The alleged Tehran link was not raised at Suleymanov's trial, according to his lawyer.
The lawyer said that Suleymanov intended to appeal.
Energy-rich Azerbaijan is a mainly Shiite Muslim country, but after decades of Soviet rule it has emerged as one of the most secular states in the Islamic world and has become an important oil supplier to Europe.
The authorities have developed ties with the United States and Israel and have repeatedly cracked down on suspected Islamic extremists. - Sapa-AFP