By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijan's Mine Action Agency has defused 471 mines and unexploded ordnance on the territories liberated from Armenia's occupation in the last year's war, Azertag reported on September 6.
In its operations carried out in Tartar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Shusha, Gubadli, Jabrayil, and Zangilan regions from August 30 to September 4, the agency found and defused 164 anti-personnel and 72 anti-tank mines, as well as 235 unexploded munitions, the report added.
It cleared 188 hectares of its liberated lands from mines and unexploded ordnance in the said period.
Armenia has 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.
Some 160 Azerbaijanis have been killed or injured in the explosion of mines planted by Armenians in Azerbaijan’s formerly occupied regions since the end of the war in autumn 2020 that saw Azerbaijan liberate most of its territories in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan has warned its citizens against traveling to formerly occupied territories without permission, citing land mine threats.
On June 12, Azerbaijan handed over 15 Armenian prisoners in exchange for a map detailing the location of 97,000 mines in formerly-occupied Agdam.
On July 3, Armenia submitted to the Azerbaijani side maps of about 92,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines planted during the occupation in Fuzuli and Zangilan regions in exchange of 15 ex-convicts of Armenian origin.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan collaborates with the international community in the demining activities of its liberated lands. Recently, the UK has contributed over AZN 1 million (£500,000) to Azerbaijan’s recovery efforts and demining activities in the liberated territories.
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