By Aisha Jabbarova
Armenian forces repeatedly fired widely banned cluster munitions in attacks on Azerbaijan’s populated areas during the six-week war over Nagorno-Karabakh, Human Rights Watch reported on December 15.
“During a visit in Azerbaijan in November 2020, Human Rights Watch researchers documented four attacks with cluster munitions in three of the country’s districts. They killed at least seven civilians, including two children, and wounded close to 20, including two children,” Human Rights Watch said in its official website.
These attacks include one in Barda district, two in Goranboy district, and one in Tartar district.
Human Rights Watch also documented a cluster munition attack on Azerbaijan’s Barda the city that killed 21 civilians and wounded 70 in October.
The group also reported the use of Smerch cluster munitions against Azerbaijan’s Goranboy and Tartar districts in October.
Earlier on December 11 Human Rights Watch reported that it has documented 11 incidents in which Armenian forces used ballistic missiles, unguided artillery rockets, and large-caliber artillery projectiles that hit populated areas during the hostilities from September to November 2020.
The report examined 18 of these strikes, which killed 40 civilians and wounded dozens more, based on in-person interviews with 53 witnesses to attacks and 12 phone interviews, news reports and governmental data.
“Armenian forces repeatedly launched missiles, unguided rockets, and heavy artillery into populated cities and villages in violation of the laws of war. Again and again in the course of the six-week war, these attacks unlawfully destroyed civilian lives and homes and should be impartially investigated,” Europe and Central Asia director at HRW Hugh Williamson said.
It should be noted that 100 Azerbaijani civilians were killed in Armenian missile attacks on Azerbaijan’s densely-populated areas between September 27 and November. Among the killed are ten schoolchildren.
Moreover, 416 were injured in Armenia's heavy artillery attacks on Azerbaijan’s densely populated areas since September 27.
As a result of the shelling of civilian infrastructure facilities by the occupying country's armed forces, 4,186 houses and 135 multi-apartment residential buildings, as well as 548 civilian facilities were severely damaged.