Azerbaijanis killed by mines left by withdrawing Armenian force

"File:Building on Fuzuli Street 77.jpg" by Interfase is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

By | Rachel Brooks

November 28, 2020 

An earlier version of this article made an unclear statement regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh as a previously disptuted territory. The Nagorno-Karabakh has returned to de juro and de facto Azerbaijani control. Disputes of the territory by foreign entities have been regarded as invalid under international law, as the land has always legally been a territory of Azerbaijan. 

Above image: “File:Building on Fuzuli Street 77.jpg” by Interfase is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Four Azerbaijani civilians have been reported killed in a blast of mines left behind in the Nagorno-Karabakh by fleeing Armenian forces. The mine was an anti-tank mine. The four Azerbaijani citizens were traveling in a car in the Fizuli district when they drove over the mine. France24 documented this as being a deliberate motion to do maximum damage upon repatriated Azerbaijani. Catherine Norris-Trent reported from Agdahm, a region of the newly repatriated Nagorno-Karabakh, that has been left as a ghost town riddled with landmines in the wake of the Armenian surrender. 

Fizuli is a district of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which recently returned to Azerbaijani control after a ceasefire was mitigated by Russian forces. The land’s return to Azerbaijani control was part of the deal reached after six weeks of conflict escalation. The Six Week War of 2020 started on September 27. 

This incident was reported by the Azerbaijani general prosecutor. It appeared in the National News.  The National News is a news outlet founded in 2008 out of the United Arab Emirates and is part of Abu Dhabi Media. It has no known affiliation with either of the regional parties who were disputing the territory. The UAE and Azerbaijan enjoy positive diplomatic relations, and the UAE recognizes Azerbaijan as an independent. Likewise, the UAE and Armenia have mostly positive relations, as they have a common conflict with the government in Ankara. 

On November 23, Radio Free Europe likewise reported a mine incident. This mine explosion reportedly killed an Azerbaijani officer and wounded several ethnic Armenian officials. A Russian peacekeeper deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh was likewise killed in this incident. The mine explosion occurred during a mission to find, identify, and repatriate the dead left in the region from the conflict. The report states that the incident occurred near Madagiz. The report states that the ethnic Armenians injured in the blast were emergency-situation officials of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic. The Azerbaijani officer was killed on the scene, the Armenian emergency workers were lightly injured. The Russian peacekeeper was reportedly transported to a hospital in Baku for treatment. Madagiz is five hours from Baku. It was not clear why the Russian peacekeeper was transported to the Baku facility. 

Contemporary with this incident, families in Yerevan as well as families in Azerbaijan, have gathered outside of government official’s buildings, or on social media, seeking the whereabouts of unaccounted for soldiers. Yerevan demonstrations were reported by Radio Free Europe. 

Radio Free Europe states that both sides had not yet confirmed the circumstances of this incident at the time of their report. Radio Free Europe is registered with the United States Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit outlet. It receives grants from the United States Agency for Global Media. It operates in 23 countries and 27 languages. There are no known affiliations with the Armenian, Azerbaijani, or Russian governments at this outlet. 

The incident on November 28 regarding the four Azerbaijan citizens was also covered by Radio Free Europe. The outlet cites the Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office report as its source. The Azerbaijani Prosecutor General’s Office stated that an investigation would be launched into the November 28 Fizuli district incident. 

Republic Underground News continues to monitor the developing story of mine activity in the region.