By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijan continues clearing of mines its formerly occupied territories following its victory in the war in 2020.
Work is underway to clear Fuzuli region's Ahmadbayli and Alykhanly villages, an expert from Azerbaijan's Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) Madat Mammadov has told local media.
Mammadov said that the 13-km section of the Fuzuli-Ahmadbayli road is the most dangerous.
"An 8-km section of the road has been cleared of mines, and the work continues on the road's 5-km section. They are cleared through manual, mechanical demining and with the help of service dogs. The road is literally packed with mines. There are approximately eight to nine minefields on its 15-km stretch," Mammadov said.
Representatives of the Mine Action Agency said that Armenia's failure to provide mine maps delays mine clearance operations on the liberated territories. They stressed that Azerbaijan will soon be delivered a new demining equipment
According to the agency experts, every day hectares of lands are cleared of mines.
On May 8, journalists watched the demining process in Fuzuli region. The agency employees showed them several methods of mine clearance: manual, mechanical, and with the help of specially trained dogs.
Earlier, the agency said that around 285 hectares of the territories liberated from Armenia's occupation were cleared of mines in April 2021.
In general, 2,028 hectares of liberated territories have been cleared of mines and unexploded ordnances since November 10, 2020.
Azerbaijani territories liberated from Armenia's occupation in a 44-war in autumn 2020 are currently being demined at a high pace. The Mine Action Agency experts demine the territories intended for building roads and infrastructure facilities, and for laying cable communication lines. Later, the territories aimed for cropping will be cleared of mines.
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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