Azerbaijan says Armenia fully responsible for civilians becoming victims of landmines
Armenia bears all the responsibilities for the civilian Azerbaijanis becoming the victims of landmines, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
The statement came after the death of two Azerbaijani civilians, including two journalists, as a result of a mine blast in the country’s liberated Kalbajar district while on duty.
“According to the joint information of the Prosecutor General's Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, on the morning of June 4, 2021, a vehicle carrying members of the film crew hit an anti-tank mine on the road in Susuzlug village of Kalbajar region. As a result of the explosion, two members of the film crew, operator of Azerbaijan Television Siraj Abishov and correspondent of the Azerbaijan State News Agency Maharram Ibrahimov, as well as representative of the district executive power Arif Aliyev were killed and four people were injured,” the statement said.
The ministry stressed that Azerbaijan constantly raises, at the international level, the issue of deliberate and large-scale planting of landmines by Armenia in the territories of Azerbaijan in gross violation of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
“This incident in Kalbajar once again shows that the mines in this area were deliberately planted by Armenia during the forced withdrawal of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan after the counter-offensive operations. The aim is to do as much damage as possible to Azerbaijan and create additional obstacles for the civilian population returning to their homes,” it said.
The ministry reminded that a group of the armed forces of Armenia was detained while entering the territory of Azerbaijan in the direction of Kalbajar and committing provocation aimed at planting landmines on the roads of the area.
“This once again verifies that Armenia continues to pose a serious threat to the lives and security of both military and civilians, and as such, serves to aggravate the situation in the region. This behavior of Armenia continues to be a major hindrance to accomplishment of peace, security and cooperation in the region.”
Baku also emphasized that Armenia bears all the responsibilities for the civilian Azerbaijanis becoming the victims of landmines while performing their duties.
Baku called on the international community not to turn a blind eye to Armenia’s gross violation of its international obligations, including the policy of deliberately planting landmines, as well as to demand that Armenia fulfill its obligations under international law.
“For its part, Azerbaijan will take all appropriate, including legal measures, to ensure peace and security,” it added.