Amnesty International: Armenia targeted civilian population of Azerbaijan and used banned cluster munitions during the 44-day war
- 14 January 2021
Amnesty International documented eight strikes carried out by Armenian forces on towns and villages in Azerbaijan which killed a total of 72 civilians, APA reports citing Amnesty International.
In the city of Ganja on 17 October, 21 civilians were killed and more than 50 injured when a SCUD-B ballistic missile hit the Mukhtar Hajiyev neighborhood. Sudaba Asgarova’s daughter Nigar was killed in the strike, a day before her 15th birthday. “She was my only child. She was all I had,” Sudaba told Amnesty International.
Ramiz Gahramanov, 64, told Amnesty International that in the same strike his daughter Khatira, 34, was killed along with her son Orhan, 11, and two daughters Maryam, six, and Laman, 18. In the aftermath of the blast, Ramiz said: “I looked down and when I saw that the house had been completely destroyed, I immediately knew that they had all died because nobody could have survived such destruction. I could not find the bodies of my grandchildren. Parts of their bodies were not found until days later, in the next street, and some parts were not found at all.”
I looked down and when I saw that the house had been completely destroyed, I immediately knew that they had all died because nobody could have survived such destruction. I could not find the bodies of my grandchildren. Parts of their bodies were not found until days later, in the next street, and some parts were not found at all.
Rahiz Gahramanov, 64, who lost multiple family members in a strike on Ganja
On 27 October, five people were killed and 14 injured when Armenian forces launched a cluster bomb strike on the village of Qarayusufli, causing widespread damage to homes. One of those killed was seven-year-old Aysu Iskandarli, who was playing on a swing in her garden at the time.
Armenian forces also fired several large-calibre rockets into the city of Barda on 28 October, more than 20 km from the frontline. Three rockets landed in the city centre, two of them near two hospitals. The third – a Russian-made 9M55 Smerch rocket containing 72 9N235 cluster submunitions – landed in the middle of a busy roundabout, killing 21 civilians.
On 27 September, the day the conflict began, Armenian forces launched an artillery strike in Gashalti, near Naftalan, killing five members of the Gurbanov family and partially destroying their house. Bakhtiar Gurbanov, who lost his parents, along with his brother’s wife, his nephew and niece, told Amnesty International: “Our family was destroyed. We had started to renovate the house before the war, now we can’t bear to be here anymore.”