Twelve civilians have been killed and more than 40 people injured in an early-hours missile attack on Azerbaijan’s second-biggest city, Ganja, the Azerbaijani prosecutor general’s office said.
A missile raid levelIed a row of homes in Azerbaijan’s second city of Ganja, killing and badly injuring people in their sleep in a sharp escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Armenian defence ministry denied the claim and accused Baku of continuing to shell populated areas inside Nagorno-Karabakh, including Stepanakert, the region’s biggest city.
Saturday, October 17
07:00 GMT – Azeri human rights official accuses Armenia of ‘provoking’ Azerbaijan
Ahmad Shahidov, the head of Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, told Al Jazeera his country was being provoked by Armenia to respond to military attacks.
“Azerbaijan liberated several regions from under Armenian occupation. That’s why the Armenian army moved back to Armenia and fired from its territory to provoke Azerbaijan to destroy these fire points,” he said.
International law demands the withdrawal of the external troops from Nagorno-Karabakh, he added.
“There are four UN security council resolutions that immediately demand the withdrawal of external troops from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding region.
06:45 GMT – Scud missile fired on Ganja, Al Jazeera correspondent says
The overnight attack on Ganja was caused by a Scud missile, said Al Jazeera’s Sinem Koseoglu.
“What we have been hearing from [Azeri] officials is that this is a Scud missile that was fired from Armenian territory,” she said, speaking from the capital Baku.
Koseoglu said the general prosecutor of Azerbaijan and the minister of state of emergency are in the area trying to understand the impact of this explosion, and to hear from the locals who witnessed the attack.
“People say there are still civilians under the rubble, and that the impact of this explosion caused by the Scud missile is large,” she said.
Scud missiles are a series of tactical ballistic missiles developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War era.
05:55 GMT: Azerbaijan says 12 civilians killed, 40 wounded in Ganja by Armenia shelling
Azerbaijan said 12 civilians were killed and more than 40 were wounded in the city of Ganja due to shelling by Armenia.
The Azeri Prosecutor General’s office said that two shells hit apartment buildings in the country’s second-largest city.
There has been no official reaction from Armenia as yet.
Source: AL JAZEERA