By Vafa İsmayilova
Azerbaijan is clearing of mines a land plot aimed for the Smart Village project implementation in the country's Zangilan region liberated from Armenia's occupation in 2020, Mine Action Agency official Bahruz Namazov has said.
Some 72-hectares of the land plot had already been cleared of mines and unexploded munitions.
"The land plot is intended for the implementation of the Smart Village project in Aghaly-1, Aghaly-2, and Aghaly-3 settlements of Zangilan region. Currently, the work to clear the territory of mines and unexploded ordnance continues," Namazov said.
The official noted that the territory of the future international airport in Zangilan also continues to be cleared of mines. He added that initially, 68,000 square meters were cleared of mines.
"In general, an area of 3,530,000 square meters has been cleared of mines in Zangilan region," Namazov said.
He added that the area where a power substation is to be built in Gubadli region had been cleared of mines.
"Based on the appeal of the Azerenerji OJSC, an area of 24,000 square meters has been cleared of mines for the construction of a substation at the entrance to Gubadli region,” he said.
“An additional area of 39,000 square meters has also been cleared of mines for the construction of power lines," Namazov added.
Eighty-two anti-personnel and 18 anti-tank mines, as well as 79 unexploded ordnance, were found and neutralized on the liberated territories in the said period.
Some 21 Azerbaijani citizens, including 14 civilians were killed and 87 citizens, 16 civilians were injured in mine explosions in liberated lands since the signing of the Karabakh peace deal on November 10, 2020.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev earlier described Armenia’s failure to provide the mine maps as the main difficulty for Azerbaijani IPDs to return to their homes. He said that this is yet another war crime by Armenia as several servicemen and civilians were killed in mine blasts on the liberated territories after the war.
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