By Vafa Ismayilova
An official from the Mine Action Agency has said that during the occupation of Azerbaijani lands, the Armenians set up booby traps in residential buildings, civilian objects and other buildings.
Idris Ismayilov, head of the agency's operational headquarters, said that four to five mines had been set in some areas, on small plots of land.
“The Armenians, retreating, mined their trenches. Such explosive devices cannot be detected by standard de-mining procedures, they are found during special search operations. Retreating, the Armenian troops resorted to setting up booby traps,” Ismayilov said.
Ismayilov stressed that the demining operations are currently underway.
"The territories in Azerbaijan’s Aghdam, Zangilan and Gubadli regions have been cleared of mines. The mine clearance work in Zangilan began in February for the implementation of the Smart City and Smart Village projects in this region. It is initially planned to build a settlement there on a 50-hectare-area. The employees of the agency have already cleared 42 hectares of mines, that is, 86 percent of this area. The remaining eight hectares will be cleared in the coming days," he said.
He noted that the lands suitable for agricultural activity around this settlement will be cleared of mines.
He stressed that the demining operations were underway in liberated Gubadli, Zangilan and Jabrayil regions to ensure power supplies to those areas.
“Since November 10, 2020, the agency has been conducting humanitarian demining operations in the Azerbaijani lands liberated from Armenia's occupation. First of all, the territories along which roads, communications and lines of communication pass were cleared of mines,” he added.
He specified the roads where the operations were ongoing.
“Currently, demining work is being carried out on the Chayli-Tapgaragoyunlu and the Chayli-Talish roads. On the basis of the appeal of the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, the territories along which the Fuzuli-Zangilan-Aghband and the Barda-Aghdam railway lines pass are also being cleared of mines,” the expert noted.
“The demining of the lands along which the power lines Fuzuli-Hadrut with a voltage of 35 kilovolts and Fuzuli-Shusha with a voltage of 110 kilovolts pass, has already been completed,” Ismayilov said.
Some 20 Azerbaijani citizens, including 14 civilians were killed and 87 citizens, including 16 civilians were injured after the signing of the Karabakh peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian leaders on November 10, 2020.
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.
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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