BAKU

At least 47 Azerbaijani civilians have been killed and 222 more injured in Armenia’s continuing attacks on civilian settlements, Azerbaijani authorities said on Friday.

Some 1,669 houses, 84 apartments, and 301 public buildings have been damaged and become unusable due to Armenian attacks between Sept. 27 and Oct. 16, according to Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General’s Office.

Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on Sept. 27 and, since then, Armenia has continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.

A humanitarian cease-fire came into force last Saturday but has been repeatedly violated by Armenian forces.

Armenia even launched a missile strike on Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, Ganja – an area far from the front line – on Sunday, killing at least 10 people and injuring 35, including women and children.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Some 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for some three decades.

Multiple UN resolutions, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.

The OSCE Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

Turkey has consistently supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

* Writing by Seda Sevencan

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