Azerbaijan clears over 48,000 Armenian mines in Karabakh

Azerbaijan has destroyed more than 48,000 mines and unexploded ordnances laid by the Armenian army in the regions liberated from occupation.

The Azerbaijan Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) and the engineering unit of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, with support from the Emergency Situations Ministry, Border Services Command and Special Mine Clearance teams of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), continue to clear the mines in the Karabakh region and surrounding provinces.

Since Nov. 10, 2020, a total of 18,302 hectares (45,225 acres) of land has been swept by demining experts. As many as 22,230 unexploded ordinances, 17,426 anti-personnel mines and 8,755 anti-tank mines had been detected and destroyed by Oct. 15, 2021.

Stating that demining efforts are continuous in the region, ANAMA Chairperson Vugar Suleymanov told Anadolu Agency (AA) that highways, railways and areas of facilities or settlements are a priority in mine clearance efforts.

“We exchange experience with Turkish organizations and will expand cooperation with Turkey in the field of demining,” said Suleymanov.

Landmines are a grave violation of essential norms and principles of international humanitarian law, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

As many as 33 Azerbaijani citizens, including seven soldiers and 26 civilians, were killed and 139 injured due to the mines laid by Armenia during their occupation.