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Azerbaijani civilian killed by Armenian mine left from occupation

November 15, 2021 at 7:50 pm

Azerbaijani sappers prepare an unexploded shell for an explosion outside the town of Fuzuli on November 18, 2020 [TOFIK BABAYEV/AFP via Getty Images]

A mine explosion in the recently liberated Nagorno-Karabakh region killed an Azerbaijani civilian, an official statement said on Monday.

The mine was planted in Aghdam by Armenian troops during their nearly three-decade occupation, Anadolu Agency reports.

According to the statement by Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General’s Office, the civilian in Aghdam’s village of Tagibeyli stepped on the mine while doing agricultural work.

Landmines are a grave violation of essential norms and principles of international humanitarian law, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

As many as 33 Azerbaijani citizens, including seven soldiers and 26 civilians, have been killed and 139 injured since November 2020—the end of the Karabakh conflict—due to mines laid by Armenia during the occupation.

Liberation of Karabakh

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted on 27 September 2020, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the nearly three-decade occupation.

READ: Azerbaijan clears over 48,000 mines laid by Armenia

Last 10 November, the two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

On 11  January, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia signed a pact to develop economic ties and infrastructure to benefit the entire region. It included the establishment of a trilateral working group in Karabakh.

The cease-fire is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.

Prior to this victory, about 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory had been under illegal occupation for nearly 30 years.

Armenia/Azerbaijan fighting rages - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Armenia/Azerbaijan fighting rages – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]