At least ten people have been killed including two children and 40 more wounded in the Armenian attack in Azerbaijan’s second-largest city.
Armenian armed forces have launched a missile attack on Azerbaijan’s second-largest city Ganja and Mingacevir.
At least ten people have been killed including two children and 40 more wounded in the attack, said Azerbaijan’s Vice President, Hikmet Hajiyev said in a tweet on early Saturday.
The missile strikes late on Friday hit busy areas in and around the city centre of Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, which is about 60 kilometres away from the Nagarno-Karabakh frontline.
Many civilians have been reported buried under the rubble of buildings destroyed by the strikes.
At least 20 buildings have been destroyed in Armenia’s missile attacks, said Hajiyev.
One of the Armenian missiles fell near a school in Ganja city. Another missile targeted a multi-storey residential apartment which was completely destroyed.
Search and rescue teams continued to carry out their work through the night. Volunteers also helped the rescue effort.
“Civilians are continued to be saved from the debris of destruction by emergency services,” Hajiyev said.
Attack in Mingacevir
A hydroelectric power plant in Mingacevir was targeted by the Armenian forces after midnight, Azerbaijan’s public prosecutor’s office said.
But, the missiles were intercepted and destroyed by the Azerbaijani air defence forces, the office added.
Turkey condemns attacks
Turkey’s Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin condemned Armenia’s “indiscriminate” attacks on Azerbaijan residential areas.
“Armenia continues to commit war crimes even under a declared ceasefire. As in Khojali, it kills women, children, the elderly and civilians indiscriminately. Armenia will pay for these unlawful acts and murders. Turkey stands with Azerbaijan to the very end,” Kalin said in a tweet.
Recent clashes erupted between the two countries on September 27, and since then, Armenia has continued its 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.
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 ceasefire, however, was agreed to in 1994. Multiple UN resolutions, as well as international organisations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.
World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged a new ceasefire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defence and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.
About 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.