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Canada Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of killing 21 civilians in a missile attack

19:45  28 october  2020
19:45  28 october  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

Nagorno Karabakh. Despite the truce, Armenians and Azerbaijanis accuse each other of new attacks

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L’Azerbaïdjan accuse Erevan d’avoir mené une attaque de missiles et d’avoir causé la mort de 21 civils dans le Haut-Karabakh. © VAHRAM BAGHDASARYAN / EPA Azerbaijan accuses Yerevan of carrying out a missile attack and causing the death of 21 civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

This attack, the second in two days, is the worst from a civilian toll in a month of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. Yerevan immediately denied this accusation from Baku.

Azerbaijan accused, Wednesday, October 28, Armenia of having killed 21 people and injured dozens of others in missile fire targeting Barda, a region near Nagorno Karabakh, the worst civilian death toll in a month of fighting for control of this secessionist region .

An AFP journalist in Barda saw destroyed shops and buildings, the ground strewn with debris, as residents gathered around to see the damage. Several charred cars were visible nearby, along with a pool of blood.

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Yerevan immediately denied carrying out the attack, the second in two days killing civilians in the Barda region, accusing Azerbaijani forces of having also shelled inhabited areas in Nagorno Karabakh.

An aborted ceasefire

These two attacks and these mutual accusations come two days after the failure of a ceasefire signed under the aegis of the United States , supposed to be effective Monday but broken almost upon entry into force.

Hikmet Hajiyev, adviser to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev, on Wednesday accused Armenian forces of firing "Smertch" rockets at Barda and of using cluster munitions to "inflict excessive injuries on civilians" .

According to the Azerbaijani Attorney General's office, this strike targeted a commercial and populated district, killing 21 civilians and injuring at least 70. On Tuesday, Baku had already accused Armenia of being responsible for the deaths of four civilians, including a two-year-old girl, in gunfire in the Barda region. A fifth died of his injuries Wednesday, according to the prosecutor.

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These losses are the worst for civilians on the Azerbaijani side since the death of 13 people in bombings on October 17 on Gandja, the second city of the country.

President Ilham Aliev has sworn to "avenge" this attack via "reprisals on the battlefield". He also assured on Twitter that his army had captured 13 villages until then controlled by the Armenian forces.

"False and unfounded" accusations

A spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Defense, Chouchan Stepanian, immediately denounced the "false and unfounded" accusations. The day before, Yerevan had also denied Baku's "lies" .

On the other hand, Armenia claims that Azerbaijani forces shelled the towns of Martuni and Shusha in Nagorno Karabakh, killing one civilian and injuring two others.

Both sides reported continuing fighting in several areas of the front line in this mountainous region of the Caucasus, both claiming to be in control.

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