Azerbaijan has confirmed it has received a map from Armenia detailing the location of some 97,000 landmines in the newly liberated district of Nagorno-Karabakh of Agdam. The map was given after Azeri authorities handed back 15 Armenian prisoners of war.
The prisoner exchange deal, announced by the Azeri Foreign Ministry on Saturday, 12 June, is the first agreement of its kind between the two countries.
Last year border skirmishes between ethnic Armenian forces and Azerbaijan troops turned into a full-scale war on 27 September 2020.
Azeri forces recaptured four of the seven districts ethnic Armenian forces had unlawfully laid claim to since the First Nagorno-Karabakh War in the 1990s.
The remaining three districts were returned to Azerbaijan in November 2020 as part of a Russian-brokered ceasefire. The six-week conflict cost the lives of over 6,000 people.
Landmines laid by Armenian forces continue to inflict casualties in Azerbaijan.
Two Azerbaijani journalists and a local official were killed on June 4 when a landmine exploded in the former occupied territory of Kalbajar, which was vacated by ethnic Armenian forces in November
Earlier today, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov told a UK delegation that included T-VINE editor Ipek Ozerim that Armenian troops “had planted a million landmines” in Nagorno-Karabakh before they were forced to vacate the region last year.
“120 people have been killed or injured since November 2020 because of these landmines,” Minister Bayramov added.
Top image, warning sign in Agdam about the danger of landmines. Photo © T-VINE