Senior officers unveil details of demining operations in liberated lands

26 January 2021 17:54 (UTC+04:00)

By Vafa Ismayilova

Senior Azerbaijani officers have made public details of operations carried out by the Defence Ministry's engineering troops on territories liberated from the Armenian occupation in a 44-day war between September 27 and November 10.

Over 2,200 hectares of the cultivatable lands have been demined in the country's Jabrayil, Fuzuli, and Aghdam regions recently liberated from the Armenian occupation, the deputy head of the engineering and reinforcement work department of the Azerbaijani Engineering Troops, Colonel Jeyhun Jafarov, said in an interview with journalists.

“Under instructions from Commander-in-Chief [Ilham Aliyev], subdivisions and units of the engineering troops completed such tasks as clearing the territories from mines and unexploded ordnance, building new and restoring existing roads and neutralizing explosive substances after the Second Karabakh War,” he said.

Jafarov added that simultaneously, the sapper groups created in coordination with other relevant departments cleared from mines and unexploded ordnance the areas where communication lines passed. He noted that the engineering troops are also engaged in rebuilding the bridges blown up by Armenian armed forces.

Jafarov said that 135.5 kilometres of roads have been repaired and 80 kilometres of new roads have been built so far on Azerbaijan's liberated territories.

"During the construction of these roads, 1,453,000 anti-tank mines, 5,420,000 antipersonnel mines, and more than 17,500 different calibre ammunition were cleared," Jafarov said.

Meanwhile, the head of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry's engineering support department, Colonel Aydin Shikhaliyev, who is currently leading the demining process in liberated Fuzuli, said that the units of the engineering troops demine the roads in the region, build new ones and expanding the existing roads.

He added that the territory is initially explored with the help of maps and the tasks are implemented after assessing the situation on the spot.

Defence Ministry Spokesman Anar Eyvazov underlined an exceptional role of the army's engineering troops in the 44-day war with Armenia

"At present, the engineering units together with Turkish and Russian specialists continue to clear the liberated territories from mines and unexploded munitions," he added.

Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani Emergencies Ministry reported on January 26 that as part of joint operations with Russian specialists, over 9 hectares of territories were searched and 3 hectares were completely cleaned so far. As part of search operations, 3 unexploded ammunition and  340 mines and were found and rendered harmless. Of them, 195 were anti-infantry and 145 were anti-tank mines. ‚Äč

Armenia and Azerbaijan started the second war over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region on September 27. Six weeks of fighting ended with the singing of a Russia-brokered peace agreement on November 10.

The deal stipulated the exchange of prisoners as well as bodies of soldiers following the war. The peace agreement also stipulated the return of Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions to Azerbaijan’s control. Before the signing of the agreement, Azerbaijan had liberated around 300 city centres, settlements and villages, including historic Shusha city.

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