By Vafa Ismayilova
A specialist of Azerbaijan's Mine Action Agency has been seriously wounded in the blast of an anti-personnel mine in liberated Aghdam region, the agency press service reported on January 29.
The demining group team leader at the agency, Elmaddin Mirzayev, 38, was hit by the anti-personnel mine in Aghdam region's Tagibayli village while being on duty and his left leg was amputated from the ankle. He was heavily wounded by multiple fragments. The health condition of Mirzayev, who was taken to the Aghdam region central hospital, is serious, the report added.
The agency once again warned that the entry of civilians into the liberated lands without special permission is strictly banned for security reasons.
Another Azerbaijani citizen Elgun Alakbarov, 34, was wounded on the territory of Tartar region in the afternoon on January 28, while ploughing a land plot over a buried anti-tank mine.
On December 22, 2020, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said that 6 civilians and 6 military servicemen were killed and 7 civilians and 14 military servicemen were injured in landmine blasts after the war ended on November 10, 2020.
On January 1, 2021, in their joint statement, the Azerbaijani Interior Ministry and the Mine Action Agency warned all citizens against visiting liberated territories given that those areas, which came under the enemy fire during the war, were contaminated with mines, unexploded ordnance, explosive devices and explosive remnants of the war. In this regard, citizens are temporarily prohibited from entering those areas until safe travel is possible.
The agency’s work on the liberated territories is being supplemented by Turkish military mine-clearance experts. Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry reported that 136 Turkish soldiers arrived in mid-December 2020 and begun training their Azerbaijani counterparts. The first group of Turkish sappers arrived in early December. The Turkish soldiers themselves also will be involved in clearing Azerbaijan’s newly-liberated territories.
A Moscow-brokered ceasefire deal that Baku and Yerevan signed on November 10 brought an end to six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
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