Missile strike on Azerbaijan town kills 21
Published: 11:49 29 October 2020
Azerbaijan alleged that at least 21 civilians were killed and dozens more wounded in a missile strike carried out by the Armenian military on the Azeri town of Barda, near the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
However, Armenia has denied carrying out the attack, and accused Azerbaijan of targeting a maternity ward in the area.
Azerbaijani presidential spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev said Armenian forces had "used cluster munitions to inflict excessive casualties among civilians" in Barda, in central Azerbaijan.
Images posted on social media showed damage to streets and vehicles with what appeared to be several bodies in body bags laid out on the road.
Police officers and other service personnel were sent to Barda to help transport the injured to hospital, as well as provide additional security in the town, the Azerbaijani interior ministry said.
The ministry added that the attack was a gross violation of international humanitarian law, and that the Armenian government should accept responsibility.
Separately, a statement issued by Karabkah officials said Azerbaijani forces had struck a maternity hospital and other "civil infrastructure" in the territory's city of Stepanakert.
They added that information on possible casualties at the facility, which had been under construction, was "being clarified".
The latest attacks come just days after a US-brokered ceasefire was agreed between the two sides.
Fighting over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted on 27 September. The mountainous territory is officially part of Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians.
Several thousand people have died and shelling has killed civilians on both sides. Tens of thousands have fled their homes.
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