"It is hard to describe the degree of destruction in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan," said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Jeyhun Bayramov in his interview to Israel’s “Israel Hayom” publication, APA reports.
"Almost all cultural monuments and religious sites, hospitals, schools, and residential buildings were looted and then razed to the ground. All liberated areas are heavily contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnance. Great damage was inflicted upon the environment too. During decades of occupation, Armenia did everything to prevent the return of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani IDPs to their original homes. But we are determined to rebuild, reconstruct and rehabilitate these territories. Peaceful life will be brought back to the liberated areas in full force.
During and after the war Azerbaijan has always strictly observed the norms and principles of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949. On the very first day of hostilities, the Azerbaijani military command issued special instructions for the military personnel on the need to abide by the Geneva Conventions. Our army has never deliberately targeted civilians, whom we consider to be our citizens.
In the meantime, the enemy often deployed heavy artillery and rocket systems in residential areas. Armenian forces actively used these weapons to shell densely populated Azerbaijani areas. The Azerbaijani town of Terter suffered particularly heavy destruction and was even dubbed as 'Stalingrad' by foreign reporters. Armenian commanders often used schools and kindergartens as military headquarters. All these facts were recorded by foreign journalists reporting from the Armenian side. It should be noted that 101 Azerbaijani civilians were killed and about 500 were wounded in missile and artillery attacks by the armed forces of Armenia. Each case of civilian fatality is documented in Azerbaijani Ombudsperson's reports with all details and circumstances," noted Minister.