BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 18 (UPI) -- Police in Azerbaijan cordoned off parts of a main square in Baku and arrested dozens of supporters of an opposition group, witnesses said.
The opposition Public Chamber claimed around 60 people were arrested by Azeri forces in Baku, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports. The news agency said it couldn't verify the figures but pointed to its Azeri affiliate that reported a young girl who appeared to be about 5 years old was among those arrested.
The report indicates that Monday's security crackdown was at least the third time in about a month that authorities acted aggressively to quiet growing frustration with the government of President Ilham Aliyev.
Amnesty International last week called on the government in Baku to stop attacking protesters and condemned what it described as "closed hearings" for pro-reform activists.
Mubariz Qurbanli, a top official in the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan Party, told the broadcaster the media was exaggerating the severity of the political situation. Baku city officials, meanwhile, said parts of the capital were closed off because of tree-trimming operations.
Qurbanli added there were no signs of anti-government movements.