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Azerbaijan liberates 13 more villages from occupation

The Azerbaijani army has liberated 13 more villages in Jabrayil district from Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan’s president announced Monday.

“The villages of Soltanli, Emirvarli, Mashanli, Hasanli, Alikeykhanli, Gumlag, Hajili, Goyerchinveysalli, Niyazguzlar, Kechel Memmedli, Shahvelli, Haji Ismayilli and Isagli in Jabrayil district have been liberated. Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” Ilham Aliyev said on Twitter.

He said Armenia’s armed forces have blatantly violated the agreed humanitarian ceasefire regime and as of 00:02 hours, Oct. 18, were using heavy artillery to fire on Azerbaijan’s residential areas and combat positions.

“There are dead and wounded due to these heinous actions. Azerbaijan’s Army retaliated befittingly and liberated several settlements,” Aliyev added.

The cease-fire – the second since hostilities around Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, began on Sept. 27 – was announced Saturday and only went into effect at midnight (2000GMT).

It was reached between Baku and Yerevan after the previous Oct. 10 humanitarian cease-fire – meant to allow an exchange of prisoners and the recovery of dead bodies – was breached hours later by Armenian missile attacks on Azerbaijan’s city of Ganja, killing 10 people and injuring 35.

Upper Karabakh conflict

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Some 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

The OSCE Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

Multiple UN resolutions as well as international organizations demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.

World powers including Russia, France and the US have called for a new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

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