Baku: Just a day after the humanitarian ceasefire brokered by Russia between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the former bombed a residential area of latter’s second-largest city Ganja which flattened a whole neighbourhood.
The latest attack reportedly killed at least 9 people along with scores of injured residents while many remain buried inside the debris of apartment building.
A day ago, Moscow had mediated the talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan for 11 hours after which both the countries agreed to a ceasefire but the latest offence once again triggered the blame game as Armenia and Azerbaijan started accusing each other of serious violations against civilians.
The Moscow talks were the first-ever diplomatic contact between the two countries since the conflict erupted on September 27 over the disputed region which killed hundreds of people so far while thousands of residents flee. Azerbaijan claimed that more than 40 civilians had been killed and 200 injured since the start of the conflict.
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The ceasefire was meant to halt fighting to swap prisoners and war dead. However, Azerbaijan on Sunday accused Armenia of severe shelling a residential area in Ganja in the early hours of the morning.
Prosecutor General’s Office in Azerbaijan issued a statement saying nine people had been killed and 34 wounded in the latest shelling attack. However, the toll could not be verified independently but Reuter’s photojournalist in Ganja witnessed rescue work in the ruins of an apartment building. According to the Reuters, Buildings and cars in the vicinity has also been severely damaged.
On the other side, Armenia’s Defence Ministry termed the Azeri allegations regarding the attack on Ganja as an absolute lie and accused that Azeri side continued shelling on populated areas inside Karabakh and Stepanakert. The Karabakh authorities claimed that so far 429 servicemen had been killed since fighting erupted. Reuters’ footage from Stepanakert showed that a small brick house was collapsed by shelling.
Azerbaijan also accused that Armenia launched an unsuccessful rocket attack on an Azeri hydro-electric power station in Mingachevir but the denial of assertion came from ethnic Armenian forces in Karabakh. Disputed Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan. It is a region of around 4,400 square kilometres in which 50 kilometres are adjacent to the Armenian border. The territory is officially part of Azerbaijan but the country lost its control since the end of a war in 1994.