13 killed in missile attack on Ganja: Azerbaijan

International Desk
17 October 2020, Sat
Published: 04:51 Updated: 04:55

13 killed in missile attack on Ganja: Azerbaijan

At least 13 people have been killed and another 52 wounded in an Armenian missile attack on the city of Ganja, Azerbaijan's Ministry of Emergency Situations said on Saturday.

Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other on Saturday (October 17) of attacks in violation of a Russian-brokered truce, as the worst fighting in the South Caucasus since the 1990s continued.

The treacherous and cruel missile attack of Armenia against civilians in Ganja is a sign of weakness and desperation of Armenia's political-military leadership in the face of its defeat on the battleground, Hikmet Hajiyev, assistant to the Azerbaijani president, said on Twitter.

The tensions between the two countries over the long-disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region escalated again in late September with Azerbaijan and Armenia exchanging multiple attacks. 

The Azeri Prosecutor General's office said a residential area in the country's second-largest city, miles away from Nagorno-Karabakh, was shelled by missile strikes and around 20 apartment buildings had been hit.

A Reuters photographer in Ganja saw rescuers working at the scene on Saturday morning. Some houses had been almost levelled. An excavator was clearing the debris.

The prosecutor's office said that Armenia also targeted missiles on the city of Mingechavir but that the Azeri air defence system downed them.

The Armenian defence ministry denied Azeri's claim on shelling cities in Azerbaijan and accused Baku of continuing to shell populated areas inside Nagorno-Karabakh, including Stepanakert, the region's biggest city.

Hundreds have died in a flare-up since Sept. 27 and there were further signs on Saturday that the ceasefire agreed a week ago - to allow the sides to swap detainees and the bodies of those killed - had all but broken down.

Last week, Baku and Yerevan agreed to a ceasefire but Russia stressed the conflict continued despite the deal.