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Over 17,000 mines, munitions defused in liberated lands [VIDEO]

14 February 2022 17:52 (UTC+04:00)
Over 17,000 mines, munitions defused in liberated lands [VIDEO]

By Vugar Khalilov

The Azerbaijani army’s engineer and sapper units have so far defused over 17,000 mines and unexploded munitions in lands liberated from Armenia's occupation in November 2020, the Defence Ministry reported on February 14.

In a statement posted on its website the ministry said: “To date, more than 13,868 hectares of territory have been cleared of mines by engineer-sapper units in the liberated territories. In total, 6,092 antipersonnel mines, 2,159 anti-tank mines, and 9,012 unexploded ordnances have been detected and neutralized.”

The engineer and sapper units demined over 374 hectares on the liberated territories from February 1 to 14.

“The main efforts are aimed at demining settlements, sowing plots, roads, and infrastructure facilities in the liberated territories,” the ministry said.

Furthermore, it was stated that the Engineering Troops are clearing roads of snow and mines to ensure the safe movement of vehicles, units, and subunits in the liberated lands.

The Engineering Troops are also responsible for the construction of new supply roads for Azerbaijani military units stationed in mountainous and difficult terrain. Demining of sown areas is also underway, the ministry said.

“Other necessary activities on detecting and neutralizing mines and unexploded ordnance, as well as on engineering support continue in the liberated territories,” the report concluded.

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, 2020, 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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