Azerbaijan mentioned Tuesday it had launched “anti-terrorist operations” in Nagorno-Karabakh, virtually three years after it went to battle over the disputed mountainous area with Armenia.
“Anti-terrorist operations within the area of an area character have begun,” Baku’s defence ministry mentioned, including it was utilizing “high-precision weapons on the entrance line and in depth” as a part of the operations.
Blasts have been heard Tuesday within the Armenian separatist stronghold of Stepanakert within the area.
The ex-Soviet neighbours have been locked in a decades-long dispute over the mountainous area, going to battle twice within the Nineties and in 2020.
Fears of a recent battle have escalated in latest months with Armenia accusing Azerbaijan of a troop build-up and decrying a blockade of its solely land hyperlink to Armenian-majority Karabakh.
Karabakh is internationally recognised as a part of Azerbaijan however largely populated by ethnic Armenians.
Escalated tensions come after 4 Azerbaijani law enforcement officials and two civilians have been killed in mine blasts within the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh area Tuesday, with authorities blaming Armenian separatists as tensions escalate between the arch foes
The deaths at daybreak got here after Armenian separatists reached an settlement with Azerbaijani authorities to renew help deliveries to Karabakh.
Baku’s safety providers mentioned two males died within the Khodzhaveskiy distinct and 4 law enforcement officials have been killed by a mine positioned by Armenian “sabotage teams,” the assertion mentioned.
It mentioned the assault came about “within the zone of short-term deployment of the Russian peacekeeping contingent”, deployed by Moscow in 2020 as a part of a ceasefire deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan mentioned the law enforcement officials have been killed shortly afterwards whereas travelling on a truck on the street to Azerbaijani-controlled Shusha, recaptured from separatists in 2020.
Within the six-week 2020 battle, Azerbaijan regained management of key areas of Karabakh, together with the culturally revered city of Shusha.
Different elements of the area, together with the principle metropolis of Stepanakert, stay below the management of Armenian separatists.
Azerbaijan mentioned the street to Shusha was constructed after it captured pockets of land from Armenia in 2020.
“Throughout the building of the street, the realm alongside the route was cleared of mines,” Baku mentioned.
Nagorno-Karabakh is closely mined. During the last three many years, lots of of Azerbaijanis have been wounded or killed by landmines laid by Armenian forces.
Each Azerbaijani and Armenian militaries used them throughout a bloody battle within the early Nineties.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has mentioned that landmines have been the principle impediment impeding the return of displaced folks to territories retaken from Armenian separatists in 2020.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)