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Missile attack escalates Karabakh fighting

AFP/Ganja (Azerbaijan)
Filed on October 17, 2020 | Last updated on October 17, 2020 at 11.41 pm
Missile attack, Karabakh fighting, armenia,

(AFP)

The early hours attack, which also saw a strike on the nearby strategic city of Mingecevir, came hours after Azerbaijani forces shelled Stepanakert, the capital of the ethnic Armenian separatist region.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev vowed on Saturday to take revenge on Armenia after a missile strike killed 12 sleeping people in the city of Ganja, a dramatic escalation in the conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The early hours attack, which also saw a strike on the nearby strategic city of Mingecevir, came hours after Azerbaijani forces shelled Stepanakert, the capital of the ethnic Armenian separatist region.

The explosions in Ganja levelled a row of houses and left at least 40 people injured in an attack Aliyev described as "a war crime".

He said his army would "take revenge on the battlefield" and promised to capture Karabakh by driving out Armenian forces "like dogs".

As the sun rose over the devastation in Ganja, Mayil Shakhnazarov, 36, said it was impossible to identify some of those killed.

"What can we say? Our pain is deep. Really deep," he said.

The seeming tit-fot-tat attacks further undermine international efforts to calm a resurgence of fighting between Christian Armenians and Muslim Azerbaijanis and avoid drawing regional powers Russia and Turkey into a conflict that has killed hundreds of people.

An AFP team in Ganja saw rows of houses in Ganja turned to rubble by the strike, which shattered walls and ripped roofs off buildings in the surrounding streets.


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