An Azerbaijani official said on Monday that 3,416 landmine victims have been registered in the country since 1991.
Azerbaijan’s state news agency Azertac reported that Sabina Aliyeva, the country’s commissioner for human rights, said during a round table discussion in Baku that out of the mine victims registered, 357 are children and 38 are women.
Aliyeva further said that 65 people, which are mostly civilians, have been killed by mine explosions since the end of the 44-day Karabakh war in the fall of 2020. She added that 272 people suffered from various injuries.
She also said that numerous mines and unexploded ordnance were laid in the country’s Karabakh and East Zangezur regions during their nearly 30 years of occupation.
Aliyeva reiterated that the Armenian side still does not want to provide accurate information about maps of their location, expressing that this has created “a serious obstacle to large-scale construction and restoration work carried out in the territories liberated from occupation.”
She added that this was also a serious obstacle to establishing “fair and lasting peace” and delayed the safe return of internally displaced people.
Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Azerbaijan liberated most of the region during the war in the fall of 2020, which ended with a Russian-brokered peace agreement, opening the door to normalization.
The Azerbaijani army initiated an anti-terrorism operation in Karabakh this September to establish constitutional order, after which illegal separatist forces in the region surrendered.