(AP) - Leading Azerbaijani newspapers ran blank front pages Saturday to protest the arrival of officers from rival Armenia for a NATO-sponsored exercise, while some electronic media stopped broadcasting for several hours.
The front pages carried only the words, "The media of Azerbaijan protest the arrival in Baku of the Armenian military." A statement of protest published in Friday's newspapers called the visit "an insult to the Azerbaijani people," which endangered the nation's stability.
The statement was signed by the chief editors of nine newspapers representing a wide political spectrum and the heads of the ANS and Azernet agencies.
Earlier in the week, members of the Karabakh Liberation Organization, including its leader, were sentenced to between 3 and 5 years in prison for organizing disturbances in protest of the arrival of Armenian officers.
The NATO Cooperative Best Effort-04 exercise is scheduled to run September 13-26.