Azerbaijan: 9 die, 34 injured in Armenian attack on civilians

Idiris Okuduci and Ruslan Rehimov.     11.10.2020

GANJA/BAKU, Azerbaijan

The death toll in a recent Armenian missile attack on Azerbaijan’s Ganja city, despite a cease-fire, rose to nine including four women on Sunday.

As many as 34 others, among them 16 women and six children, are injured, the Prosecutor General’s Office in Azerbaijan said in a statement. 

The Armenian attacks continued despite a humanitarian truce agreed on Saturday for the exchange of prisoners and retrieval of bodies in Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan. 

Hikmat Hajiyev, assistant to the Azerbaijani president, said the attacks were Armenia’s «policy of vandalism and barbarism» against Azerbaijani civilians, and «an act of genocide.»

Attacking civilians with destructive missiles is a war crime, a manifestation of immoral behavior of Armenia’s political-military leadership, he tweeted.

The armistice came after a trilateral meeting in Moscow on Friday between the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

Between Sept. 27, when the clashes began, and October 11, as many as 41 Azerbaijani civilians have been killed and 205 injured.

Some 1,165 houses, 57 residential and commercial buildings, and 146 public buildings have also been destroyed or damaged, the prosecutors said.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said their army repulsed Armenian attacks throughout the night.

Karabakh conflict

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.

Recent clashes began when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani settlements, and military positions in the region.

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail.

While many international powers have called to end clashes, Turkey supports Azerbaijan’s right to self-defense, and has demanded the withdrawal of the invading forces.