Azerbaijan's working group holds new meeting on de-mining liberated lands (UPDATE)

Details added: first version posted on 11:59

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 28


Azerbaijan’s working group of the Interdepartmental Center under the Coordination Headquarters, created for the centralized solution of issues in lands liberated from Armenian occupation [in the 2020 second Karabakh war], on clearing the territories from mines and unexploded munitions, held a new meeting, Trend reports on Sept.28.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Mine Action Agency, the ministries of foreign affairs, defense, economy, emergencies, and the State Border Service.

During the meeting, reports on the mine clearance of the liberated territories were delivered, and issues reflected in these documents were discussed.

Besides, the meeting participants were informed about the progress of humanitarian de-mining on the liberated lands, clearing of an area of ​​5,430 hectares from mines and unexploded munitions, detection of 24,925 mines and unexploded munitions by the Mine Action Agency from November 10, 2020, to date.

Since early 2021, an area of ​​4,854 hectares has been cleared from mines and unexploded munitions, 14,884 mines, and unexploded munitions have been found and neutralized.

According to information on de-mining operations carried out by the Defense Ministry, from September 1 to September 23, 2021, the engineering troops cleared territories with a total area of ​​1,119 hectares in Aghdam, Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Khojavand, and Gubadly districts from mines and unexploded munitions, as well as detected 91 unexploded munitions.

In Jabrayil, Zangilan, and Fuzuli districts, clearing of sown areas for perennial crops from mines and unexploded munitions has been completed. In the Gubadly district, the clean-up of an area of ​​91 hectares is being completed. The clearance of territory with an area of ​​1,628.626 hectares from mines and unexploded munitions was completed. An area of ​​427 hectares is to be cleared. An area of ​​12,014 hectares has been cleared from mines and unexploded munitions.

Operations to clear mines and unexploded munitions from the Khachynarkh-1 and Khachynarkh-2 canals, as well as sub-artesian wells in the Aghdam district, began on September 27.

The State Border Service has totally de-mined area of ​​286 hectares, as well as found and neutralized 2,976 mines and unexploded munitions.

Besides, the meeting participants discussed the issue of the Defense Ministry providing data and coordinates of cleared areas to the information department of the Mine Action Agency.

The participants also exchanged views on the detection of mined areas by using artificial intelligence. It was noted that the drones provided by foreign companies have already been tested. The tests have confirmed that they detect mines made of plastic and metal, and identify mined areas.

It was also emphasized that proposals are being prepared for work to reduce the mine threat that may arise when citizens return to the territories cleared of mines. So, it was reported that at the first stage, the citizens will be returned to Zangilan district, and as the infrastructure projects are completed, to other districts.

According to the meeting participants, despite the ongoing work to inform citizens about the mine threat, it may not be enough to ensure their safety. To exchange views on the measures to be taken and to develop a common communication concept, the participants discussed the possibility of a trip of representatives of the relevant structures to Zangilan.

The Coordination Headquarters, created upon the order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev dated November 24, 2020, is led by Head of the Presidential Administration Samir Nuriyev.

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