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Over 1,800 mines, unexploded ordnance found in Karabakh in past month

6 July 2021 10:00 (UTC+04:00)
Over 1,800 mines, unexploded ordnance found in Karabakh in past month

By Vafa Ismayilova

Azerbaijan's Mine Action Agency seized over 1,800 mines and unexploded ordnance over the past one month on the territories liberated from Armenia's occupation in 2020.

In its report on mine-clearing operations carried out on the liberated territories from June 1 to July 3, the agency said that 1,087 antipersonnel mines, 316 anti-tank mines, and 461 unexploded ordnance were found in Tartar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Shusha, Gubadli, Jabrayil and Zangilan districts.

In total, 5.6 million square meters (563 hectares) of land were cleared of mines and unexploded ordnance, the report added.

Over 140 Azerbaijan citizens have been killed or injured in mine explosions since November 10, 2020.

Armenia deliberately and constantly planted mines on Azerbaijani territories, in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention, thereby being a major threat to regional peace, security and cooperation.

On June 12, Armenia submitted to Azerbaijan mine maps for Aghdam and on July 3 mine maps for Fuzuli and Zangilan. The mine maps show that Armenian planted 97,000 mines in Aghdam and 92,000 mines in Fuzuli and Zangilan.

Azerbaijan stated that obtaining mine maps will save the lives of tens of thousands of Azerbaijani citizens, including those involved in mine clearance, and will accelerate the implementation of reconstruction and rehabilitation projects initiated by President Ilham Aliyev on the liberated territories and the return of IDPs.

Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan escalated on September 27, 2020, when Armenian armed forces deployed in the occupied Azerbaijani lands made military provocations against Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions. Armenia's offensive prompted immediate Azerbaijan’s counter-attack measures.

The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan ended on November 10, 2020, with the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders.

The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s. The deal stipulated the return of Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the peace deal, Azerbaijan liberated 300 villages, settlements, city centres, and historic Shusha city that had been under Armenian occupation for about 30 years.

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