BAKU, Azerbaijan

Since hostilities began on Sept. 27, Armenian artillery and missile attacks on Azerbaijani settlements have killed at least 61 civilians and injured 282 others, local authorities said Monday.

Some 1,846 houses, 90 apartments and 341 public buildings were also damaged and made unusable due to Armenian attacks, according to Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General’s Office.

New border clashes erupted between the two ex-Soviet republics on Sept. 27, when Armenia first launched attacks on civil settlements, and since then it has continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.

Over the last 10 days Armenia broke humanitarian cease-fires in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

In two attacks on Ganja, a major Azerbaijani city far from the front line, Armenian missiles killed some two dozen civilians – including children – and injured scores of others.

Last Thursday, Armenia targeted civilians visiting a cemetery in the western city of Terter, killing four and also injuring four.

A new humanitarian cease-fire entered into force last Saturday.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the “immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces” from the occupied areas of Azerbaijan.

In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (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.

World powers including Russia, France and the US have called for 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 Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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