BAKU 

Turkish and Azerbaijani military personnel conducted joint efforts to detect and destroy mines in the Aghdam region recently liberated from Armenia’s occupation, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

“A group on the clearance of mines of the Turkish Armed Forces in our country and the units of the Engineering Troops of Azerbaijan fulfill the tasks of engineering support in the liberated Aghdam region,” said a ministry statement.

It said that the troops cleared “sowing plots and connecting roads” off mines and unexploded shells.

Also sharing the footage of the activities, the ministry said: “Activities on the detection and disposal of unexploded shells and mines in liberated territories are being continued.”

Two Special Mine Detection and Clearance Teams (OMAT), consisting of 135 mine clearance specialists of the Turkish Armed Forces, have been supporting the Azerbaijani troops in regions liberated from Armenia’s occupation.

The Turkish troops also train Azerbaijani soldiers in mine detection and clearance techniques and tactics.

Liberation of Karabakh

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, recognized as an Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the nearly three-decade-long occupation.

The two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement on Nov. 10 to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

However, the Armenian army violated the cease-fire on Dec. 13 and martyred three Azerbaijani soldiers in Khojavend’s Sur village and a soldier and a civilian near the town of Hadrut, according to the Defense Ministry.

The truce is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces have been withdrawing in line with the agreement.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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