Armenia missile attack kills 12 civilians, injures 40 in Ganja: Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan says 12 civilians have died and 40 others sustained injuries after the Armenian military launched a missile attack on the country’s second-largest city, Ganja.

The Azeri Prosecutor General’s office said the assault took place in the early hours of Saturday as two rockets hit apartment buildings in central Ganja, causing severe damage.

Azerbaijan’s presidential aide, Hikmet Hajiyev, censured in a series of tweets the missile attack and underlined that at least 20 buildings have been destroyed by Armenia’s missiles, which he said were of the Scud series.

Innocent civilians in the second biggest city of Azerbaijan are under the indiscriminate and targeted missile attack of Armenia. Unscrupulous calls for humanitarian ceasefire should see these war crimes of #Armenia. According to initial info more than 20 houses destroyed.

— Hikmet Hajiyev (@HikmetHajiyev) October 16, 2020

One of the missiles fell near a school in Ganja city and another targeted a multi-story residential apartment which was completely razed to the ground.

According to ANAMA, missiles fired to Ganja is SCUD/Elbrus Operative-Tactical Ballistic Missile. Fragments from the impact zone prove it. Targeting SCUD missile against densely populated civilians shows complete immorality and schizophrenic mindset of Armenia’s pol-mil leaders

— Hikmet Hajiyev (@HikmetHajiyev) October 16, 2020

Azerbaijan’s public prosecutor’s office also reported that a hydroelectric power plant in the city of Mingacevir was targeted by the Armenian forces after midnight but the missiles were intercepted and destroyed by the Azerbaijani air defense forces.

The development came despite a ceasefire agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh last Saturday following 11 hours of Russia-mediated negotiations in Moscow.

Since then, both sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the deal and targeting civilians.

Karabakh’s ombudsman Artak Beglaryan said in a tweet on Friday that Azerbaijan had struck the region’s main city, Khankendi, “with heavy missiles for the first time today.”

Beglaryan accused Azerbaijan of continuing to target civilian infrastructure and the international community of continuing to make “empty calls” for peace.

Also on Friday, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev announced that the army had “liberated” several villages following heavy fighting over the disputed region.

The defense ministry of the breakaway region said that it had recorded another 29 casualties among its military, pushing the military death toll to 633 since fighting with Azeri forces erupted in late September.

Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it has been administered by ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Armenia since 1992, when they broke from Azerbaijan in a war that killed some 30,000 people.

In 1994, a ceasefire was put in place, and France, Russia, and the US — known as the “Minsk Group” — were tasked with finding a lasting solution to the conflict. But for decades, the group has failed to stop the sporadic outbreaks of fighting and implement United Nations resolutions that demand an Armenian withdrawal from the Nagorno-Karabakh.

The latest fighting over the region began on September 27 and has claimed hundreds of lives, with the international community repeatedly calling on both warring sides to agree to an immediate and unconditional truce.

The renewed fighting has increased concern that Turkey, which fully backs Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a defense pact with Armenia, could be sucked into the conflict.


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