Baku. Rashad Suleymanov – APA. The fact that Armenians planted antipersonnel mines in the occupied Nagorno Karabakh territory of Azerbaijan in summer, 2013 has been included in the report of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), director of “Azerbaijan Campaign to Ban Landmine” Public Union Hafiz Safikhanov told APA.
Safikhanov said that information released by APA Information Agency on July 29, 2013 (http://en.apa.az/news/196915) that Armenian Army planted mines along the frontline in Fuzuli and Khojavand regions was submitted to ICBL. In this regard, ICBL has conducted studies and appealed to Armenia. Armenia has confirmed this fact in its response and explained that mine-laying and fortification works along on the frontline aimed at preventing the subversive groups of Azerbaijani Army.
The public union director also said that this issue was also raised at the 13th meeting on December 2-9 in Geneva within the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention: “The fact of mine-laying in three regions – Yemen, Syria and Nagorno Karabakh in 2013 has been included in the international report. The message read on the behalf of the UN Secretary General strongly condemned this fact.”
Hafiz Safikhanov said that at the meeting, the issue on Turkey was especially discussed and the activities of Ankara towards destruction of antipersonnel mines were considered. Although the Turkish side said that it had destroyed all antipersonnel mines in its arsenal, the meeting emphasized the existence of mining facts in 2012. The term of obligations undertaken by Turkey on antipersonnel mines within the Ottawa Convention has been extended to 8 years.
On July 29, APA reported quoting military sources that the Armenian Army is carrying out fortification works along the frontline in Fuzuli and Khojavand regions. According to the information, the Armenian side is laying mines in neutral line, fortifying trenches and long-term fire points. The fortification works are also being carried out in the rear echelons. PMZ-4 minelayers were detected along the aforementioned frontline.