ANKARA / BAKU
The Azerbaijani army liberated the city of Zangilan and six villages of the province, as well as another 18 villages of the Fuzuli, Jabrayil, and Khojavend provinces, country’s leader announced on Tuesday.
President Ilham Aliyev in his address to the nation named the residential settlements liberated from the Armenian occupation after almost 30 years.
Aliyev said Havali, Zarnali, Mammadbayli, Hakari, Sharifan, and the Mughanli villages of Zangilan, as well as the city of Zangilan have been freed from the occupying forces.
The Dordchinar, Kurdlar, Yukhari Abdurrahmanli, Garghabazar, Ashaghi Veysalli, Yukhari Aybasanli villages of the Fuzuli province, Sarafsha, Hasangaydi, Fughanli, Imambaghi, Dash Veysalli, Aghtapa, and Yarahmadli villages of the Jabrayil province, Aghjakand, Mulkudara, Dashbashi, Gunashli, and Vang villages of the Khojavend province have been liberated, Aliyev said.
“I give a new Azerbaijani name to this village. Hereinafter, Vang village should be renamed to Chinarli village. Blessed be the name,” he said.
Aliyev had previously announced the liberation from Armenian occupation of the cities of Jabrayil and Fuzuli, and the Hadrut settlement, as well as more than 50 villages.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry released footage on Zangilan’s liberation, showing soldiers erecting the country’s flag in front of a building in the city.
“Mr. President, Commander-in-Chief. Zangilan city and its surrounding villages were liberated from the occupation in accordance with your orders. The Azerbaijani flag is currently waving [there]. Long live Azerbaijan. Long live the Commander-in-Chief. Karabakh is Azerbaijan,” said one of the soldiers in the video.
Zangilan had been occupied by Armenian forces on Oct. 29, 1993.
Clashes, Upper Karabakh conflict
New border clashes erupted between the two former Soviet republics on Sept. 27, when Armenia first launched attacks on civil settlements, and since then has continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.
On Saturday, at least 13 civilians were killed, including two children, and 48 others injured, when the Armenian army attacked Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, with missiles.
It was Armenia’s second deadly attack in less than a week on Ganja, an area far from the front line with a population of 500,000 people.
On Oct. 15, the Armenian Armed Forces targeted civilians visiting a cemetery in the western city of Terter, killing four and injuring another four.
In a meeting on Oct. 10 in Moscow, officials on the two sides agreed to a cease-fire to allow an exchange of prisoners and the recovery of bodies in Nagorno-Karabakh.
But, within 24 hours of the cease-fire’s announcement, the Armenian army carried out a missile strike on Ganja, killing 10 people and injuring 35 others.
Armenian forces also targeted several other regions in Azerbaijan, leading to more civilian casualties.
A new humanitarian cease-fire entered into force at midnight on Saturday (2000GMT).
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 remained 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.
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