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World 'So, so frightened': civilians shelter from Karabakh shelling

20:40  13 october  2020
20:40  13 october  2020 Source:   msn.com

Cities under fire as Armenia-Azerbaijan fighting intensifies

  Cities under fire as Armenia-Azerbaijan fighting intensifies Armenian and Azerbaijani forces exchanged rocket fire as fighting intensified over Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday, with the breakaway region's capital and Azerbaijan's second-largest city bombarded. Yerevan said Nagorno-Karabakh's main city Stepanakert, which has been under artillery fire since Friday, was hit again on Sunday and AFP journalists said there were regular explosions and smoke rising in parts of the city. Azerbaijan's defence ministry said Ganja, a city of more than 330,000 in western Azerbaijan, was also "under fire" while separatist forces claimed to have destroyed an airbase there.

"I am so , so frightened ," the 56-year-old whispered. "No one even warned us that the war was about to start." The bitter feud between Christian Armenians and An AFP team saw Azerbaijani multiple rocket launchers whizz by and then fire rapid salvos up into the mountains of Nagorno- Karabakh .

Ceaseless shelling by Armenian and Azebaijani forces has forced civilians of Nagorno- Karabakh to flee or hide underground in basements, on rationed food and unable A woman cries as she shelters in a basement during shelling in Terter, Azerbaijan [Getty]. Date of publication: 13 October, 2020.

Tears didn't well up in Tatyana Pashayeva's eyes until the shells were exploding all around as she hid in an Azerbaijani basement by the Nagorno-Karabakh frontline.

a person talking on a cell phone: Tatyana Pashayeva and other Terter residents shelter in a basement during shelling © Bulent Kilic Tatyana Pashayeva and other Terter residents shelter in a basement during shelling a person standing in front of a brick building: Most of the people sheltering in one sparsely-lit Terter basement are pensioners © Bulent Kilic Most of the people sheltering in one sparsely-lit Terter basement are pensioners

"I am so, so frightened," the 56-year-old whispered. "No one even warned us that the war was about to start."

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The current civilian death toll in Karabakh , according to the latest report released on Sunday by Missile strikes have not spared critical civilian infrastructure either. Shelling on Stepanakert’s “Last Friday, it was so bad the whole building was shaking.” He and his friends are unfazed by the sirens.

Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other of killing civilians by shelling cities in and around Nagorno- Karabakh on Wednesday, in an escalation of a month-long conflict over the Azerbaijan said 21 people were killed when Armenian shells hit the town of Barda, northeast of Nagorno- Karabakh .

The bitter feud between Christian Armenians and Muslim Azerbaijanis over a prized patch of the Caucasus mountains re-erupted into new fighting on September 27.

Pashayeva and more than 20 other mostly elderly men and women have been living in a brick basement about seven kilometres (four miles) from the front ever since.

a person standing in front of a building: Heavy shelling has left the streets of Terter almost deserted © Bulent Kilic Heavy shelling has left the streets of Terter almost deserted

The Azerbaijani town of Terter has borne the brunt of some of the heaviest shelling from ethnic Armenian forces in the northern half of the conflict zone.

An AFP team saw Azerbaijani multiple rocket launchers whizz by and then fire rapid salvos up into the mountains of Nagorno-Karabakh.

a group of people sitting in a room: Men shelter from shelling in a basement of a building in Terter © Bulent Kilic Men shelter from shelling in a basement of a building in Terter

Repeated rounds of shells and other munitions rained back down on the deserted and badly damaged town moments later.

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  Shadow of history makes Karabakh solution elusive When Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan shared a platform in a rare encounter at February's Munich Security Conference, they were both asked to give a historical overview of Nagorno-Karabakh. It did not end well. "In order to talk about how to resolve the conflict first we need to go back and look at the issue of history," declared Aliyev, arguing it is "historical truth" that Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan.

Armenia accused Baku of shelling civilians . Despite rounds of shelling back and forth, Aybeniz Djaffarava refused to leave, though she did move underground. It feels there is little appetite for compromise. "After so many aggressions against Artsakh, Azerbaijan has abandoned any moral right

The shelling of Stepanakert stopped after the truce was signed between Yerevan and Baku on November 9, but life in the city is yet to return to Rescuers and relief workers are now focusing on basic things, like replacing the windows and restoring electricity, so people can get through the winter.

"The Armenians are shelling us constantly," said pensioner Akif Aslanov.

"Listen, they are shelling us now with different weapons: with missiles, bombs, tanks, rocket launchers -- they use it all."

- 'Hiding' -

The attacks on Terter mirror ones Azerbaijani forces have been inflicting on the Nagorno-Karabakh capital Stepanakert and the region's other ethnic Armenian towns.

Among the civilians who have not fled the fighting altogether, the artillery duel has forced many underground.

The basements in Terter are basic: gravel floors and peeling walls are lit up with sparse lightbulbs.

Some families have battery-powered radios they turn to for updates about the battles raging overhead.

They also sign up for basic food rations distributed by Azerbaijan's emergencies service during periodic shelling lulls.

"What else can you do? We have no choice," said pensioner Roza Aliyeva from her corner cot.

Images of war: 2-weeks of brutal fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan left hundreds dead before ceasefire declared

  Images of war: 2-weeks of brutal fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan left hundreds dead before ceasefire declared Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire starting on Saturday, two weeks after brutal clashes killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands more. A decades-long conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan re-ignited on September 27 with both sides fighting for control over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces since the end of a separatist war in 1994. It marked the biggest escalation since the 1990s and involves heavy artillery, warplanes, and drones.

' So , so frightened ': civilians shelter from Karabakh shelling . AFP. Deaths mount in Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes amid truce calls.

Azerbaijan's foreign ministry said that overnight shelling by Armenian forces on the country's second largest city, Ganja, had left seven people dead and Claims that Armenian forces were responsible for shelling Ganja were "an absolute lie," it added. The leader of the disputed Nagorno- Karabakh region

The 85-year-old suffered multiple injuries when she fell while struggling to get to the basement during the first attack.

"We run, we fall down, we stand up again, we get injured, and now we are here, hiding," she said.

- 'I will never leave' -

The two sides had technically signed up to a humanitarian truce in Moscow on Saturday that was meant to give talks another chance.

But the Azerbaijanis sheltering in the Terter basement said they have been unable to sleep for over two weeks because the fighting never really ceased.

"In general, we cannot sleep," said Azer Mammadov, a veteran of past fighting in Karabakh.

"When they stop shelling for an hour, an hour and a half, we can close our eyes and nap," he said.

"You sleep and wake up, you sleep and wake up, over and over again."

Mammadov was one of several men in the basement who had fought in the original Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that killed 30,000 in the 1990s as the Soviet Union fell apart.

But even elderly women who had not taken an active part in that fighting said they were ready to suffer through hardship to take back lands they view as their ancestral home.

Sariya Makharramova said she also stayed behind in Terter when the conflict flared up in 2016.

The elderly pensioner said her sons and grandchildren where now fighting at the front.

"I cannot leave them here and leave the city," she said.

"I did not leave in 1992, I didn't leave in April 2016, not now -- I will never leave."

zak/as/tgb-jj

Fighting rages as Armenia, Azerbaijan engage in talks: Live news .
After almost one month of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, dozens of civilians and hundreds of soldiers have been killed.“For about 10 days during heavy shelling of Stepanakert we didn’t have time to track down those infected patients, and it allowed contagion to spread in quicker than usual. However now the situation will be under control,” he said.

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This is interesting!