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The human cost of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

October 13, 2020 By 0 Comments

On September 27, clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan erupted over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, killing hundreds, injuring hundreds more and displacing thousands.

The disputed territory, home to about 150,000 people, is an ethnic Armenian enclave and is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan by all countries, including Armenia.

But the people of Nagorno-Karabakh – an overwhelming majority of whom are ethnic Armenians, want to govern themselves or to join Armenia, as they once voted to do.

The region broke from Azerbaijan’s control in a war in the 1990s that killed some 30,000 people.

A fragile ceasefire, brokered by Russia, went into effect on Saturday but was almost immediately broken, with both Armenian and Azerbaijan accusing each other of fresh attacks.

Azerbaijan said on Sunday at least nine people were killed from a long-range missile attack on an apartment building in its second city of Ganja, while Armenia alleged Azeri forces shelled the main city of Stepanakert in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the town of Hadrut.

Civilians on both sides have been caught in the deadliest fighting in the South Caucasus region for more than 25 years, with clashes involving artillery, tanks, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and fighter planes.

Hundreds of soldiers have also been killed, presumably on both sides. While Armenian officials announce military death tolls, Azerbaijan does not.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify Armenian and Azeri assertions about the number of fatalities or injured, but it is widely acknowledged that the real death tolls from the crisis are believed to be much higher than what has so far been reported.


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