Police beat and detain protesters after opposition rally in Baku

BAKU, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Police beat and detained demonstrators after an opposition rally on Saturday in Baku, capital of the oil-rich ex-Soviet republic of Azerbaijan.

Several thousand people had gathered in a stadium on the outskirts of the city to protest against alleged electoral violations during a presidential election which returned President Ilham Aliyev to office.

Although the rally had been officially approved by authorities, a Reuters witness saw some participants beaten and arrested by police. One man was led away with his head covered in blood.

Interfax-Azerbaijan reported that around 10 people were arrested. Reuters was unable to confirm the number.

Aliyev was re-elected for a third five-year term on October 9, with 85 percent of the vote according to the official count, in an election that many said was a foregone conclusion.