Azerbaijan and Armenia accuse each other of violating a new humanitarian ceasefire in occupied-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that Armenian armed forces did not comply with the new ceasefire deal which came into force at midnight.
The statement adds that Armenian forces fired mortars and artillery in the vicinity of Jabrayil city, as well as liberated villages located along the Araz River.
The ministry said it incurred no losses of military personnel and its units took adequate retaliatory measures.
In another statement also released on Sunday, the ministry said it had on Saturday attacked Armenian positions and had destroyed two missile guiding stations of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, five T-72 tanks, three BM-21 “Grad” MLRS, two Smerch MLRS, a D-20 gun-howitzer, a KS-19 anti-aircraft gun, and six vehicles.
Azerbaijani troops are now in control of the operational situation along the entire front.
Attacks on Ganja
Overnight Friday, at least 13 civilians were killed, including four women and three children, and nearly 50 others injured, when Armenian missiles struck Azerbaijan’s Ganja city
Some 20 women and five children were also among the injured, while two children remain missing, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan said.
Over 20 homes were destroyed during the attack.
It was Armenia’s second deadliest assault on the civilian-populated Ganja in less than a week.
The area is far from the frontline.
In a statement to Anadolu Agency, the UN condemned the attack on Ganja city and said parties should protect civilians and civilian infrastructure under international humanitarian law.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “remains very deeply concerned about the ongoing hostilities and their impact on the populations,” said spokesman Farhan Haq.
“We reiterate our strong condemnation of any targeting and attacks against civilian populated areas anywhere.”
Along with Ganja, a hydroelectric power plant in Mingachevir was also targeted by the Armenian army on Friday, but its missiles were shot down by Azerbaijan’s air defence system.
Since new clashes erupted between the two countries on September 27, Armenia has continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.
As of midday Saturday, Armenia has killed at least 60 Azerbaijani civilians and injured 270 more, according to Azerbaijani officials.
The number of houses damaged in Armenian attacks has reached 1,704, along with 90 residential buildings and 327 civil facilities, according to Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General’s Office.
Tension for three decades
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognised territory of Azerbaijan.
About 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
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. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.
Multiple UN resolutions, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.
World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for the cessation of hostilities. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.