Some 760 mines, munitions defused in liberated lands in February
By Sabina Mammadli
In February 2022, 760 mines and unexploded ordnance were discovered and defused on Azerbaijani territories liberated from Armenian occupation in 2020, the Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) has said in its monthly report.
During the demining operations from February 1 to 28, the agency discovered 96 anti-personnel mines, 63 anti-tank mines, and 601 unexploded ordnances in Tartar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Shusha, Gubadli, Jabrayil, and Zangilan regions, the report added.
A 379.6-hectare-area was cleared of mines and unexploded ordnances during the reported period.
Armenia submitted to Azerbaijan all mine maps of liberated territories as a result of talks held through the Russian Defence Ministry's mediation on December 4, 2021.
On March 2, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov stated that the low accuracy of Armenia's minefield maps of Azerbaijani liberated territories slows the mine-clearance process.
"The demining operations are underway, but people are still losing their lives. From the end of the 44-day Second Karabakh War to the present, over 200 people have become victims of mine explosions in liberated lands," Bayramov said.
He added that the high mine contamination of the liberated territories hinders the return of former internally displaced persons to their native lands.
It should be noted that ANAMA, along with the partner countries, carries out demining activities on its liberated territories. Moreover, the State Border Service and the Defence Ministry also demine the liberated lands.
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.
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.