Armenia uses banned cluster bombs in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

2 September 2016 10:46 (UTC+04:00)

By Rashid Shirinov

Cluster bombs, which have been used since World War II to kill and maim indiscriminately, were outlawed under an international treaty that was adopted in 2008, The New York Times reported.

The Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor’s report released in Geneva on September 1 revealed that the weapons continued to be used with near impunity in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, as well as during the armed clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, said the article.

The report found “strong but unconfirmed evidence” that cluster munitions had been used in April during the escalation of the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region occupied by Armenia.

Baku has announced that ammunition prohibited by international conventions was used by the Armenian side.

Meanwhile, a military source from the zone of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict told Interfax-Azerbaijan agency that Armenia used anti-personnel cluster bombs or its Chinese analogue against the Azerbaijani armed forces.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry constantly reported that the Armenian side uses ammunition banned by international conventions.

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.

While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign State with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.

Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.

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Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

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