By Ayya Lmahamad
Armenia's shelling on Azerbaijani civilians and civilian infrastructure is a serious violation of international humanitarian law, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said during phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on October 5.
Minister informed his counterpart that Armenia is purposefully shelling the Azerbaijani civilians and civilian infrastructure, targeting Ganja, the second-largest city, industrial city Mingachevir, and densely populated settlements in other cities far from the line of contact.
Moreover, Bayramov briefed the Russian Foreign Minister about the casualties among civilians, stressing that Armenia bears full responsibility for the situation in the region.
In turn, Lavrov expressed concern over the rising tension in the region, and stressed the importance of resolving tensions and returning the parties to political dialogue.
Armenian armed forces launched a large-scale operation in the front-line zone on September 27 at 6 am, shelling the positions of the Azerbaijani army from large-calibre weapons, mortars, and artillery installations of various calibres. 27 Azerbaijani civilians have been killed and 141 others have been injured in Armenian attacks on Azerbaijani civilian areas.
On October 4, Armenia launhced missile attack on Ganja, Azerbaijan's second largest populated city, killing one civilian and injuring dozens. There were also attacks on Mingachevir city that has a hydroelectric power station as well as on Khizi and Abheron region on the same day.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
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