Nagorno-Karabakh: “civilians are on the receiving end of this bombardment”

People tending to an injured man during shelling in Stepanakert on 4 October People tending to an injured man during shelling in Stepanakert on 4 October © Aram Kirakosyan/PAN Photo, via Associated Press

04 October 2020

Azerbaijan accuses Armenian forces of targeting civilian areas

On 4 October, one civilian was killed and four wounded in an Armenian rocket attack in the city of Ganja, according to Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry. On the same day, two more civilians were killed, and two others wounded in artillery shelling by Armenian forces in Beylagan. Prosecutors in Beylagan have filed a criminal case into the incident. According to the Azerbaijani Prosecutor-General’s Office, a total of 22 civilians have been killed and another 74 have been wounded since the start of combat in the Nagorno-Karabakh zone.

Armenia has denied Azerbaijan’s accusations in relation to the directed attacks towards civilians in Ganja and Beylagan. Nagorno-Karabakh leader, Arayik Harutyunyan stated that his forces have targeted a military airbase in Ganja, “but later stopped firing in order to avoid civilian casualties.”

Amnesty International’s Crisis Response experts have identified cluster munitions that appear to have been fired by Azerbaijani forces in the residential areas of Stepanakert. Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s acting Head of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, has stressed that “the use of cluster bombs in any circumstances is banned under international humanitarian law, so their use to attack civilian areas is particularly dangerous and will only lead to further deaths and injuries.” Amnesty International has called for the protection of civilians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region to be prioritised, and for international humanitarian law to be respected by all parties.


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Author: Catherine Gregoire


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