By Ayya Lmahamad
The Azerbaijani Mine Action Agency’s Operational Headquarters Chief Idris Ismayilov has said that the Russian-made Iskander missile launched by the Armenian armed forces at Azerbaijan’s Shusha city during the 44-day war had exploded, Trend has reported.
Missile launched from Iskander-M system
"The fragments of the missiles fired by the Armenian armed forces have been found during operational measures in two areas of Shusha. The agency continues operational search work in all cities and districts liberated during the 44-day war,” he noted.
It should be noted that the missiles were launched during the 44-day war from late September through early November 2020.
“Since December 2020, more than 100 unexploded munitions were found in houses, basements in Shusha and in the areas where battles took place. On March 15 this year, the agency employees found fragments of exploded missiles in two areas of Shusha. The modification codes on these fragments were checked and it was indicated that these were the Iskander missiles,” the agency’s chief said.
He later said that the missile at Azerbaijan’s Shusha city was fired from the Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile system.
“The 9M723 index was found on the missile wreck found in Shusha. Thus, it became known that this missile was fired from the Iskander tactical ballistic missile system... Proceeding from the recent analysis, we came to the conclusion that the missile was fired from the Iskander-M tactical ballistic missile system. The territory is being explored," he added.
Ismayilov stated that the launch location of those missiles is not yet known, but could be established via a special radar.
"The agency is conducting demining operations. In Shusha, our employees found missile fragments that fell at a distance of 780 meters from each other. One fragment was found in the northeastern direction and the other in the opposite direction," Ismayilov said.
Trend earlier reported that the fragments of the Iskander missile, which Armenia used against Azerbaijan during the war, were exhibited in Baku by representatives of the Mine Action Agency on the site of Azerlandshaft OJSC.
Mine clearance operations
Additionally, the agency’s chief emphasized that so far 1,731 hectares of territory have been cleared from mines and unexploded munitions.
"On the liberated territories, 1,737 mines and unexploded munitions were found and neutralized. Search operations were conducted in Fuzuli, Zangilan, Jabrayil, Gubadli, Aghdam and Khojavand regions. They are underway in Shusha city as well," he emphasized.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani police officers continue to search for weapons and ordnance in the territories liberated from the Armenian occupation.
On April 2, the Barda regional group of the Interior Ministry’s press service reported that in the course of such events, carried out by officers of the Fuzuli District Police Department, missile systems “Igla-S”, “Mukha”, “Fogot” (one unit each), 3 machine guns, 1 automatic rifle, 1 mortar, 33 grenades, 308 shells, 10 automatic magazines and 300 rounds were found.
Some experts believe that Armenia has spent $350 million to mine lands in and around Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region that were liberated from occupation in the 44-day war.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on February 26 described Armenia’s failure to provide the maps of mined areas in liberated lands as the main difficulty for Azerbaijani IPDs to return to their homes. He said that this can also be considered to be a war crime as several servicemen and civilians were killed in mine blasts on liberated territories after the war.
Shusha was occupied by Armenian forces on May 8, 1992, and was the last of Azerbaijan’s cities to be liberated from the Armenian occupation.
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.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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