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28 Nov 2020 | 06:16 PM UTC

Azerbaijan: Mine explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh region kills civilians November 28

Mine explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh region kills four Azerbaijani citizens on November 28; further similar incidents expected in the medium term

security
AZE

Event

Four Azerbaijani civilians were killed and another injured after their vehicle triggered an anti-tank mine in Nagorno-Karabakh region on Saturday, November 28. The incident occurred in the village of Ashagi Seyidahmedli in Fizuli district, an area which Azerbaijan has recently resumed control of after recent clashes with Armenia over the disputed territory. Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, although it is indicated that the ordnance was a remnant from the recent conflict.

Similar incidents are possible in and around Nagorno-Karabakh over the near term.

Context

Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan have a long-standing dispute over the possession of Nagorno-Karabakh, home to some 150,000 inhabitants (mostly ethnic Armenians) and located in the west of Azerbaijan. This issue has fuelled tensions between the two countries since 1988; with some 30,000 people being killed in fighting from 1990 to 1994. The two countries declared another ceasefire in April 2016 after the region experienced four days of violent clashes that left hundreds dead.

The latest hostilities erupted in late September and left an estimated 4000 people dead. A Russian-brokered ceasefire was signed on November 10, with the self-proclaimed Artsakh Republic to hand over large areas of territory to Azerbaijan. Russian peacekeepers have been deployed along the line of contact to monitor the truce.

Advice

Western governments generally advise their citizens against all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. Those in Armenia are advised to monitor developments and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

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