Azerbaijani MFA responds to Armenians’ claims regarding Shusha



BAKU, OCT 9  — The Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan commented on the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s statement on the targeting of places of worship and cultural monuments in Shusha.

The statement of the MFA of Armenia on the targeting of the places of religious worship and cultural monuments in the occupied Shusha city by the armed forces of Azerbaijan is yet another false accusation and provocation of Armenia aimed at diverting the attention of the international community from its deliberate shelling the densely populated residential areas, civilian infrastructures and cultural monuments in Azerbaijan.

Almost for 30 years, Armenia has pursued the policy of deliberate destruction of the Azerbaijani historical and cultural monuments in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, aimed at removing any signs heralding their Azerbaijani legacy. Recently targeting the second biggest city, as well as the center of the historical and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, Ganja city in rocket strikes clearly demonstrated the long-standing policy of the vandalism of Armenia.

Azerbaijan is among the countries where cultural diversity is felt clearly and openly, it is among the most religiously tolerant countries in the world. Unlike Armenia, which has committed cultural genocide, destroyed and desecrated the Muslim Mosques in the occupied territories, Azerbaijan attaches great importance to preserving the traditions of tolerance and the fact that the Armenian Saint Gregory Church in downtown Baku is fully refurbished and under State protection is a vivid example to that policy.

As officially declared by the Military Command of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, the targets of the Azerbaijani Army are the military infrastructures, fire positions and military units of the enemy. Azerbaijani armed forces undertake the counteroffensive measures on the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan in accordance with the international humanitarian law and Geneva Conventions.

We reiterate that Armenia’s attacks directed at civilians, that caused indiscriminate or disproportionate harm to civilians and civilian objects in Azerbaijan amount to war crimes under international humanitarian law, for which Armenia bears the liability and which also incur individual criminal responsibility of the perpetrators.

There is no doubt that all historical, cultural, religious monuments of Azerbaijan destroyed as a result of Armenia’s aggression will be restored as soon as the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions of Azerbaijan are liberated from the occupation.

The list of cultural and historical sites damaged due to shelling of armed forces of the Republic of Armenia As of 08.10.2020

Agjabadi district

–           On 27.09.2020, at about 17:10, 2 shells fell on the area of Hajilar village (population: 1424 people) mosque of Agjabedi district, as a result 6 graves were damaged.

–           On 02.10.2020, at about 17:00, as a result of a shell falling on the area of Muganli village mosque, the windows of the mosque were broken, and the ceiling of the auxiliary building collapsed.

The construction of the mosque in Muganli village (population: 1725 people) began in 1999, and it was opened for use in 2009. The religious community of “Seyid Ismail Agha” mosque is based in the mosque.

Tartar district

–           On 05.10.2020, 2 shells fell on the cemetery of Borsunlu village (population: 1190 people), as a result 6 graves were damaged.

–           On 05.10.2020, 3 shells fell on the cemetery of Gainag village (population: 1752 people), as a result 4 graves were damaged.

–           On 07.10.2020, 4 shells fell on the cemetery of Juyarli village (population: 889 people), as a result 10 graves were damaged.

–           On 07.10.2020, 2020, 5 shells fell on the cemetery of Sahlabad village (population: 2142 people), as a result 15 graves were damaged.

–           On 08.10,2020, 5 shells fell on the cemetery of Tartar city (population: 25,000 people), as a result the graves were damaged;

–           On 08.10,2020, 2 shells fell on the cemetery of Kovdadikh village (population: 179 people), as a result the graves were damaged.

–           On 08.10,2020, 4 shells fell on the cemetery of Garadagli village (population: 2310 people), as a result the graves were damaged.

Fuzuli district

– On 29.09.2020, a mausoleum of 13th century built on the memory of great Sufi Sheykh Babi Yagub, which is a sacred shrine for the Azerbaijani people and The Museum of History-Ethnography in Fuzuli region of the Republic of Azerbaijan were damaged.

Ganja city

–           On 04.10.2020, Armenia launched missile attack on Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second largest city, killing one civilian and injuring dozens. Attacks that target innocent people, women, children and infrastructure, also severely damaged school and historical men gymnasium of Ganja (inventory number 3838). Built in 1881 Ganja Gymnasium was the alma-mater of the founders of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic of 1918. The Armenian armed forces use cluster bombs, which are prohibited by international conventions.

There were also attacks on Mingachevir city that has a hydroelectric power station as well as on Khizi and Abheron region on the same day.

–           07.08.2020,  İmamzade  historical  complex  (inventaory  number  193)  was damaged by missile fallen close to the complex.

–           On 08.10.2020, Seferkhamly mosque (inventary number 3860) üas severely damaged.

Shusha city

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence commented on reports of the destruction of the church in Shusha.

– “The destruction of the church in Shusha during the hostilities has nothing to do with the activities of the Azerbaijan Army. Unlike the armed forces of Armenia, which, during the shelling of Ganja on October 4, damaged civilian facilities, residential buildings, as well as the Imamzade complex, which is a religious architectural monument, the Azerbaijan Army does not target on the historical, cultural, especially religious buildings and monuments,” said the ministry.

Note: As of 08.10.2020 due to the attacks of armed forces of the Republic of Armenia targetting civilians and infrastructure 31 persons were killed, including 3 children, 9 women. 148 persons were wounded. 778 civil infrastructure, inclduing 21 schools were destroyed.