UN confirms: Armenians forcibly keep population in occupied territories
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 12
Hundreds of people, mostly women, children and elderly people, were forced to leave their homes as a result of the escalation of tension on the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, Stephen Dyuzharrik, the official representative of the UN Secretary told journalists, citing data from the Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
"UNHCR has received information about the victims among the civilian population, destruction of houses and infrastructure (as a result of Armenian attacks civilians were killed), as well as restriction of the freedom of movement of people trying to leave the conflict zone", he said.
Earlier the Armenian army was establishing roadblocks to prevent the escape of the population from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.
Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry earlier said. Ignoring the agreement, the Armenian side again started violating the ceasefire.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.