TODAY.AZ / Politics

Azerbaijani, Turkish sappers continue demining Karabakh

22 September 2021 [13:47] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Vugar Khalilov

The Azerbaijani and Turkish demining experts continue mine clearance operations on territories liberated from Armenia's occupation in the last year's war, the Defence Ministry reported on September 22.

The Azerbaijani army's engineer-sapper units and Turkish military sappers are demining roads in the liberated lands to ensure the safe movement of the military convoys, the report added.

Furthermore, new supply roads are being constructed to the mountainous areas, where the Azerbaijani army units have been deployed.

On the liberated territories, Azerbaijan's engineer and sapper units have earlier been supplied with the MEMATT (Mechanical Demining Supply) equipment produced by Turkey's ASFAT company under the Turkish National Defence Ministry. The equipment is highly effective in clearing settlements and arable lands from mines and unexploded ordnance.

As a result of mine clearance activities, over 11,900 hectares of land have been cleared of mines and over 16,000 mines and unexploded ordnance have been defused by the engineer-sapper units in the liberated lands, the ministry said.

It added that the operations to detect and defuse mines and unexploded ordnance in the liberated lands are underway.

It should be noted that Azerbaijan’s Mine Action Agency (ANAMA), along with the partner countries, carries out demining activities on its liberated territories.

Some 160 Azerbaijanis have been killed or injured in the explosion of mines planted by Armenians in Azerbaijan’s formerly occupied regions since the end of the war in autumn 2020 that saw Azerbaijan liberate most of its territories in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

On June 12, Azerbaijan handed over 15 Armenian prisoners in exchange for a map detailing the location of 97,000 mines in formerly-occupied Aghdam.

On July 3, Armenia submitted to Azerbaijan maps of about 92,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines planted during the occupation of Fuzuli and Zangilan regions.

In his interview to CNN Turk channel on August 14, President Ilham Aliyev said that the accuracy of the maps provided by Armenia at the latest stage is only 25 percent.

The scale of destruction in Azerbaijan’s formerly occupied territories suggests deep hatred and animosity against Azerbaijanis, with many experts describing these mass destructions as genocide.

Azerbaijan and Armenia resumed the second war after that latter started firing at Azerbaijani civilians and military positions starting September 27, 2020. The war ended on November 10 with the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders.

The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centres and historic Shusha city. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.


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