Azerbaijan documenting civilian casualties caused by Armenian shelling

Presence of the Armenian troops in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is a threat to regional security, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told reporters in Aghdam Apr. 29.

"Armenia's leadership is openly conducting an aggressive policy, that country doesn't recognize the negotiation process and has once again refused it," said Hajiyev.

He said Azerbaijan expects the international community to take urgent measures and put an end to Armenia's aggressive actions, adding that it is necessary to exert pressure on Armenia and force that country to a truce.

"Azerbaijan once again states that it is always ready for comprehensive, productive negotiations," Hajiyev said. "Azerbaijan is ready for peace talks on the basis of the four UN Security Council resolutions, under which the Armenian armed forces must be immediately and unconditionally withdrawn from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan."

He added that Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry, together with other structures, is documenting the civilian casualties and the damage inflicted to the country, and has informed the international community about the gross violation of the Geneva Convention commitments undertaken by Armenia.

"Azerbaijan once again brings to the attention of the international community the fact that the presence of Armenian troops in the occupied Azerbaijani territories is a threat to the regional security," said Hajiyev.

On Apr. 29, a group of journalists, consisting of representatives of foreign media accredited in Azerbaijan, and the local media, visited the Garadaghli village of Azerbaijan's Agdam district, which was shelled by the Armenian side from April 27 evening until April 28.

In the village the journalists surveyed the houses, which were destroyed by heavy artillery attacks and met with the village's residents.

The representatives of foreign and local media were accompanied by the Head of executive power of Azerbaijan's Aghdam district Ragub Mammadov, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev and Head of the press service of Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry Vagif Dargahli.

Starting from April 27 evening until 04:00 (GMT + 4) April 28, the Armenian armed forces were firing at the Azerbaijani settlements and the Azerbaijani army positions in the Terter and Aghdam districts of Azerbaijan.

Two people were killed and many more wounded as a result of the Aghdam shelling. At least 84 houses in the district were heavily damaged, some of them completely destroyed.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

Source: Trend