By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has said that Armenian forces are attacking Azerbaijani civilians and densely-populated civilian areas despite the humanitarian truce reached between the countries with Russia’s mediation on October 10. He added that Azerbaijan acts within its right to self-defense.
Bayramov made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Czech counterpart Tomáš Petříček on October 15.
Bayramov particularly noted heinous missile attack on Ganja that killed ten civilians, as well as the killing of three civilians in Azerbaijan’s Tartar region on October 11 and October 15 respectively.
He emphasized that full responsibility for the current situation in the region is on the political-military leadership of Armenia.
Armenian attack on civilians was also discussed during Bayramov’s phone conversations with Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the Minister for European Neighborhood and the Americas of the United Kingdom Wendy Morton, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on October 15.
Iran Foreign Ministers stressed that Iran as the neighbouring country is interested in ensuring peace and stability in the region and underlined the importance of a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Foreign diplomats expressed serious concern over the loss of civilian lives. He stressed the importance of respecting the ceasefire and restoring negotiations between the sides.
Armenian armed forces launched a large-scale operation in the front-line zone on September 27 at 6 am, shelling the positions of the Azerbaijani army from large-calibre weapons, mortars, and artillery installations of various calibres. Armenia has been targeting Azerbaijan’s densely populated areas and infrastructure projects.
Forty-seven civilians have been killed and 222 others have been injured since the outbreak of large-scale hostilities on September 27, after Armenia launched another attack along the line of contact. As a result of the shelling of civilian infrastructure facilities by the occupying country's armed forces, 1,669 houses and 66 multi-apartment residential buildings, as well as 277 civilian facilities were severely damaged. Vehicles belonging to civilians became unserviceable, and numerous small and large horned animals and haystacks were destroyed as well.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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