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10 killed in Azerbaijan as Nagorno-Karabakh truce unravels

10 people were killed, and 34 injured, when Armenian forces fired missiles on a residential area of Azerbaijan’s second city, Ganja, on 11 October.

The bombardment came less than 24 hours after a Russian-brokered ceasefire was agreed in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Azerbaijan announced that more than 10 apartment buildings and over 100 facilities were “extensively damaged.”

Within minutes of the ceasefire coming into effect both sides accused each other of violating the terms of the truce. Armenia has since denied targeting Ganja, and accused Azeri forces of shelling Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital Stepanakert, as well as other towns during the night. Fighting continued on 12 October, particularly around Hadrut, south of Stepanakert.

The BBC reported that since last month’s escalation in military activity, nearly 500 people have been killed, including more than 60 civilians.

The territorial dispute in the southern Caucasus over the Nagorno-Karabakh region has persisted over three decades. This region is internationally recognised as Azerbaijani territory, but it is ethnically majority-Armenian and since 1991 it has effectively been controlled by Armenian separatists backed by the Armenian government. Nagorno-Karabakh provides crucial transit routes for gas and oil on the international market.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.

Prior to the recent escalation, figures from AOAV’s database showed that between 2012 and July 2020 there were just 137 casualties from explosive violence in Armenia and Azerbaijan combined. Over these eight years, 16 civilians were killed and a further 39 injured.

AOAV condemns the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and calls on states and the international community to urgently address the threat of explosive weapons attacks that directly impact civilians.

AOAV’s analysis of recent developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be found here.