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Home » Azerbaijan Displays Arms Surrendered by Armenia-Backed Karabakh Militants

Azerbaijan Displays Arms Surrendered by Armenia-Backed Karabakh Militants

by Tavit Ardzruni
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Azerbaijan has displayed a captured militant arsenal days after Baku reclaimed full control of Karabakh province and began talks with representatives of its ethnic Armenian settlers on reintegrating the area.

On Saturday, Azerbaijani military displayed infantry weapons including sniper rifles, hundreds of Kalashnikov rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and four tanks painted with cross insignia, that they said they had seized in a lightning anti-terror operation against illegal Armenian forces in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

“We have more like that in the forest, but we can’t bring them all here,” said Lieutenant General Mais Barkhudarov, commander of Azerbaijan’s 2nd Army Corps.

From the Shusha district, Azerbaijani Colonel Anar Eyvazov said they were working closely with Russian peacekeepers conducting the demilitarisation process.

The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry said efforts to disarm illegal Armenian armed groups in the region continue.

It said the list of weapons and ammunition seized include four tanks, 12 howitzers, 12 mortars, 468 mines, 956 charges, 441 mortar shells, 22 grenade launchers, 46 grenade shells, 313 small arms, 66,242 bullets, 50 missiles, 300 explosive and 62 hand grenades.

“Just three days of disarmament process in Karabakh revealed that Karabakh region of Azerbaijan turned into the most militarised zone in the world and powder keg of our region by the number of military warehouses and accumulated weapons and ammunitions during the years of occupation,” Azerbaijan president’s aide Hikmet Hajiyev wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“We didn’t even expect that it was militarised to this extent based on the ratio of population and size of area. Disarmament and Demobilisation are key components of Reintegration!”

Meanwhile, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said the international community has fallen short — by not making “real steps and targeted public messages to persuade Armenia to honour its commitments.”

He said Baku that was working “to address the immediate needs” of people in Karabakh and intends to “reintegrate” them as “equal citizens.”

Azerbaijan has said it will guarantee Karabakh residents “all rights and freedoms” in line with the country’s constitution and international human rights obligations, including safeguards for ethnic minorities.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s office said on Saturday that Baku had set up a “working group” to provide Karabakh residents with medical care, food and other staples.

Azerbaijani authorities reported that they shipped over 60 tonnes of fuel that same day through the South Caucasus country’s territory, through a road leading from the city of Aghdam with Karabakh’s regional capital, Khankendi.

Roots of conflict

Meanwhile, protesters rallied again on Saturday in Armenia’s major cities, calling for PM Nikol Pashinyan to resign.

Armenia’s Investigative Committee said it had opened 49 criminal cases against demonstrators accused of calling for mass disorder, vandalism and carrying unlicensed weapons.

Azerbaijan suspended its counter-terrorism measures on Wednesday, a day after it was launched to disarm illegal Armenian forces in Karabakh and to uphold the 2020 trilateral peace agreement.

Relations between Baku and Yerevan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes.

The war ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire, and talks for normalisation of ties began.

Source : TRT World

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