By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has said that Baku remains committed to the humanitarian truce but reserves its rights to take countermeasures to protect its civilians and positions from Armenian attacks.
The ministry made the remarks in a statement on October 18, after the Russian-mediated humanitarian truce between Azerbaijan and Armenia came into force.
Despite the announced humanitarian truce Armenian armed forces continue shelling Azerbaijani armed positions and civilian population and infrastructure, the ministry said.
The armed forces of Armenia immediately after the declared ceasefire, starting from 00.02 local time fired at the Jabrayil city, as well as the villages of Jabrayil region liberated from the occupation, located along the river Araz using mortars and artillery. From 00.05 until 03.25 am the armed forces of Armenia violating the ceasefire shelled the positions of Azerbaijan using the large-caliber weapons at the border of two states in the direction of Gadabay and Tovuz regions of Azerbaijan,” the ministry said.
It added that Armenian armed forces sought to attack in the directions of Aghdere, Fuzuli, Hadrut and Jabrayil at 07.00 am.
“The gross violation of the humanitarian ceasefire by Armenia, after its formal declaration already for the second time, demonstrates Armenian aggressive policy towards Azerbaijan and its reluctance to the negotiated settlement of the conflict. In addition, it is also a manifestation of Armenia's disrespect for the efforts of the mediators, who have been engaged in finding an accord of the sides to the humanitarian ceasefire.”
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.
Sixty civilians have been killed and 270 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, 1,704 houses and 90 multi-apartment residential buildings, as well as 327 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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