ANKARA

One more Azerbaijani national was killed by Armenian forces on Wednesday, bringing the civilian death toll in Armenian attacks to 43.

According to the Azerbaijani authorities, the Tartar region faced rocket attacks and heavy artillery shelling in the morning.

“Today at about 9 am [0500GMT], Akhundov Adavat Zahid, born in 1969, resident of Narliq settlement, Tartar District, was killed by shrapnels hitting the yard of his house. The house was severely damaged,” read a statement from the Prosecutor General’s Office.

It said at least eight more civilians were injured in the recent attacks.

Armenian forces continue their “terrorist acts” against Azerbaijani civilians and are “flagrantly violating” the humanitarian cease-fire that came into force last Saturday, the statement added.

‘Legitimate military targets will be destroyed’

The Azerbaijani army neutralized “legitimate military targets” that were threatening the civilian population of Azerbaijan, the country’s Defense Ministry said.

“On October 14, at about 01:00 [2100GMT], it was recorded that the Armenian side deployed several operational-tactical missile systems with ballistic missiles at the starting position in the border zone with the occupied Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan,” read a statement.

The weapons were targeted at the peaceful population and civilian infrastructure in Ganja, Mingachevir, and other cities of Azerbaijan, it said.

“The Azerbaijan Army has taken preventive actions to ensure against the recurrence of another war crime and to suppress the missile strike similar to the one committed by Armenia in Ganja on October 11,” the ministry said.

“As a result, operational-tactical missile systems brought into a state of readiness to deliver fire strikes were neutralized as a legitimate military target.”

Images of the Armenian missile systems were also shared by the ministry.

Armenia’s political and military leadership bears the entire responsibility for aggravating the situation, the statement added.

Civilian settlements under fire

In a separate statement, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said several civilian settlements, including Tartar, Aghdam, and Aghjabedi regions, have been facing artillery fire since early Wednesday morning.

It said the situation on the Aghdere-Aghdam and Fizuli-Hadrut-Jabrayil directions of the front remained tense overnight.

“At night, the units of the Armenian armed forces attacked the positions of the Azerbaijan Army in some directions of the front. As a result of the measures we took, they were driven back, suffering losses,” read the statement.

The Azerbaijani army destroyed five T-72 tanks, three BM-21 Grad MLRS, one OSA-AKM anti-aircraft missile system, one BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle, one KS-19 anti-aircraft gun, two D-30 gun-howitzers, the ministry said.

Several vehicles of the Armenian military were also destroyed or disabled, it added.

The ministry said Azerbaijani troops were respecting the humanitarian cease-fire in force since Saturday, while also retaining their “operational advantage.”

The humanitarian truce for exchange of prisoners and retrieval of bodies came after a trilateral meeting in Moscow between the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

Armenian forces have continuously violated the agreement, even launching 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.

Occupied territories

Fresh clashes erupted between the two countries on Sept. 27, and since then Armenia has continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.

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.

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 Azerbaijan’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

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