Two Azerbaijani journalists and an official have been killed on Friday by a landmine explosion within the Kalbajar area, west of Nagorno-Karabakh, authorities stated.
4 others have been injured within the incident, which noticed a truck blown up by an anti-tank mine at about 11am native time (07:00GMT), Azerbaijan’s inside ministry and the workplace of the prosecutor normal stated in a press release.
The three victims have been recognized as native official Arif Aliyev, Maharram Ibrahimov, a reporter working for state information company AzerTag, and Siraj Abishov, a journalist with the state-run AzTV station.
We name on #Armenia at hand over minefield maps. Day-after-day they proceed to refuse this request, extra lives are endangered!
— Jeyhun Bayramov (@bayramov_jeyhun) June 4, 2021
The blast got here amid a border dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which fought a six-week conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh area final 12 months.
Jeyhun Bayramov, Azerbaijan’s overseas minister, stated he was “deeply saddened” as he known as on Armenia at hand over maps finding mined areas.
The Azerbaijani authorities has repeatedly accused Armenia of refusing to submit such maps.
“Day-after-day they proceed to refuse this request, extra lives are endangered!” Bayramov tweeted.
Equally, Arif Aliyev, head of the Yeni Nesil (New Technology) Journalists Union, stated the reporters ought to have had entry to maps of mined areas.
“I’m blaming the worldwide group and organisations,” Aliyev stated. “Months have already handed and we nonetheless can not get maps of mined areas.”
Kalbajar is likely one of the areas that was handed again to Azerbaijan after final 12 months’s battle.
Elchin Shikhly, head of the Azerbaijani Journalists Union, accused the Armenian state of “violating worldwide regulation”.
“The mines have been planted lately in that space of Kalbajar,” Shikhly instructed Al Jazeera.
“Which means Armenia is engaged in terrorism and sabotage on the state stage. The worldwide group should urgently react to this situation.”
On the time of publishing, Armenian officers had not provided any touch upon the explosion.
All through their decades-long battle, Azerbaijan and Armenia have typically denied the opposite aspect’s claims.
Azerbaijan per week in the past stated one in every of its troopers was wounded after Armenian forces opened fireplace alongside the neighbours’ shared border, accusations that Yerevan denied.
The alleged incident got here a day after Azerbaijan captured six Armenian servicemen in Kalbajar.
Armenia stated its forces have been finishing up engineering work within the space, whereas Azerbaijan stated the troopers have been a part of a “reconnaissance and sabotage group”.
Yerevan additionally claimed final week that one in every of its troopers was killed after capturing broke out with Azerbaijan’s forces, an incident Baku denied accountability for.
In early Could, Armenia accused Azerbaijan’s navy of crossing its southern border to “lay siege” to a lake shared by the 2 international locations.
The most recent tensions come after final 12 months’s battle between the rivals, which resulted in November.
Azerbaijan was considered as profitable the conflict, with its troops driving ethnic Armenian forces out of swathes of territory that they had managed because the Nineteen Nineties in and round Nagorno-Karabakh.
Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as a part of Azerbaijan, even by Armenia, however is populated by ethnic Armenians.
Russia ultimately brokered a ceasefire to convey the combating to a halt, which locked in Azerbaijan’s territorial good points.
The battle killed greater than 6,000 folks on either side and led to a political disaster in Armenia, the place Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was broadly castigated for what was seen by many as a humiliating defeat.
Pashinyan, 45, stated he had no alternative however to concede or see his nation’s forces undergo even greater losses.
Pashinyan introduced snap parliamentary polls below strain from opposition protesters within the wake of final 12 months’s battle.
The election is scheduled for June 20.
Known as the First Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia fought with Azerbaijan over the area within the Nineteen Nineties in a battle which killed at the least 30,000 folks.
Heavy battles in 2016 lasted 4 days in April.
Final 12 months’s clashes marked the worst combating because the mid-Nineteen Nineties.
Further reporting by Seymur Kazimov in Baku.