Some 1,680 unexploded ordnance defused in liberated Shusha
By Vugar Khalilov
Azerbaijani Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) Deputy Chairman Samir Poladov has said that some 1,680 unexploded munitions were found and defused in liberated Shusha city, Trend reported on January 18.
He underlined that the city has been cleared of mines and unexploded munitions by the ANAMA specialists and no mine threat exists there anymore.
The deputy chairman said that the mine clearance activities are underway in Azerbaijan’s liberated Aghdam city as well.
Poladov noted that some 40,000 hectares of the liberated territories are to be cleared of mines and unexploded ordnance in 2022.
The demining activities will be jointly carried out by operational groups of ANAMA, the Defence Ministry emergency units and the State Border Service, he added.
Poladov stated that the demining activities are being carried out in the liberated lands, where restoration work is underway. Some 20,165 hectares of Azerbaijan’s liberated territories were cleared of mines and unexploded munitions in 2021 and 41, 503 mines and unexploded ordnance were neutralized in the mentioned period.
He emphasized that the most heavily mined territories in Azerbaijan's liberated lands are located along the former contact line with the Armenian armed forces.
"Currently, these areas are being analyzed and studied. This is an important issue for forming a general picture and implementing long-term processes," Poladov said.
He added that ANAMA's material and technical base is constantly being improved, and the agency hires additional staff, conducts training sessions and creates new operational groups.
"Measures are regularly taken in this direction. New technologies are used in mine clearance operations. Moreover, the most modern mechanical mine-clearing machines, mine detectors, and other equipment are purchased. Our teams are provided with this equipment. Trainings are conducted in accordance with international standards," Poladov said.
Earlier it was reported that 10,456 anti-personnel and 4,683 anti-tank mines, as well as 12,659 unexploded ordnances, were found and defused on the abovementioned territories from November 10, 2020, to November 30, 2021.
Armenia submitted to Azerbaijan all mine maps of Azerbaijan's liberated territories as a result of talks held through the Russian Defence Ministry's mediation on December 4, 2021.
On December 12, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov told reporters that mine maps provided by Armenia so far are not fully accurate.
"New minefield maps given by Armenia are being analyzed by the experts. It will take time. We can prevent the growing number of deaths as a result of mine explosions," he said.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan’s Mine Action Agency (ANAMA), along with the partner countries, carries out demining activities on its liberated territories.
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 December 9, the Prosecutor-General's Office has reported that 29 civilians and seven military servicemen were killed, as well as 109 servicemen and 44 civilians received injuries of varying severity as a result of mine explosions in the country’s lands since November 10, 2020.
Previously, 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.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered peace agreement on November 10, 2020, to end 44 days of fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.
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