TERTER, Azerbaijan

Armenia continued to violate the new humanitarian cease-fire reached with Azerbaijan by attacking civilian settlements in Terter and Aghjabadi cities, an official statement said on Monday.

“The Armenian armed forces continue to commit criminal acts against our civilian population in gross violation of the requirements of the announced humanitarian truce,” Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General’s Office said.

Yesterday, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry had said that Armenia’s armed forces “grossly violated” the new humanitarian cease-fire just hours after it got effective at 12:00 a.m. local time on Sunday [2000GMT Saturday].

The second cease-fire was reached between Baku and Yerevan after the previous Oct. 10 humanitarian cease-fire – meant to allow an exchange of prisoners and the recovery of dead bodies – and was breached hours later by Armenian missile attacks on Azerbaijan’s city of Ganja, killing 10 people and injuring 35. 

The Prosecutor General’s Office said the Armenian forces targeted the Aghjabadi district on the first day of the new cease-fire on Sunday, severely damaging 25 houses.

“On the morning of October 19th […] Terter district came under intensive rocket artillery fire by the hostile armed forces,” the statement said, adding a 58-year-old civilian was injured in the attacks and was rushed to the hospital.

Terter city center was calm on Sunday. Civilians went to their homes from safety zones, took valuable and necessary belongings and got back to safety zones.

Upper Karabakh conflict

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 nearly three decades.

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.

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

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

* Writing by Merve Berker

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