By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijani Deputy Defence Minister Lt-Gen Karim Valiyev has inspected the military units of the engineer-sapper troops, the ministry reported on October 8.
Valiyev checked the combat readiness of the units and was informed about the improvement of the personnel’s professional skills in operating with the modern engineering machinery and equipment adopted into the arsenal.
Briefing the visitors about the activities of engineer troops, Maj-Gen Anar Karimov noted that the recruitment process for the newly created engineering battalions is underway.
He added that high-level training had been provided by Turkish specialists for the personnel.
It was underlined that the engineer-sapper units carry out mine-clearance activities on Azerbaijan’s liberated territories.
The engineering work is being conducted for building new roads to the Azerbaijani military positions located in the mountainous areas.
Later, the engineer-sapper troops performed their professional skills at the training field.
Furthermore, the military officials were instructed to intensify the engineering work in the liberated territories.
In the end, a group of distinguished servicemen was awarded.
Azerbaijan has been actively involved in mine clearance and reconstruction activities in its lands liberated from Armenia's occupation.
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.
Along with its Mine Action Agency (ANAMA), Azerbaijan collaborates with different countries in conducting mine clearance activities in the liberated lands.
On the liberated territories, Azerbaijan's engineer and sapper units have earlier been supplied with the MEMATT (Mechanical Demining Supply) equipment produced by Turkey's ASFAT company under the Turkish National Defence Ministry. The equipment is highly effective in clearing settlements and arable lands from mines and unexploded ordnance.
The Defence Ministry earlier reported that over 11,900 hectares of land had been cleared of mines and over 16,000 mines and unexploded ordnance had been defused by the engineer-sapper units in the liberated lands.
The UK contributed over AZN 1 million (£500,000) to Azerbaijan’s recovery efforts and demining activities in its liberated lands.
France is also keen to donate € 400,000 (AZN 803,272 or $472,752 ) to support mine clearance operations in the liberated lands.
Over 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 Karabakh region.
On June 12, Azerbaijan handed over 15 Armenian prisoners in exchange for a map detailing the location of 97,000 mines in formerly-occupied Aghdam.
On July 3, Armenia submitted to Azerbaijan maps of about 92,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines planted during the occupation of Fuzuli and Zangilan regions.
In his interview to CNN Turk channel on August 14, President Ilham Aliyev said that the accuracy of the maps provided by Armenia at the latest stage is only 25 percent.
The scale of destruction in Azerbaijan’s formerly occupied territories suggests deep hatred and animosity against Azerbaijanis, with many experts describing these mass destructions as genocide.
Azerbaijan and Armenia resumed the second war after that latter started firing at Azerbaijani civilians and military positions starting September 27, 2020. The war ended on November 10 with the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centres and historic Shusha city. 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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