Associated Press
Monday, December 14, 2020

MOSCOW (AP) - Azerbaijani authorities say one person was killed and two injured when an anti-personnel mine exploded in a region ceded to Azerbaijan under a peace deal with Armenia that ended recent fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Law enforcement officials said the blast occurred Sunday in the Shahbulag village of the Aghdam region, which Azerbaijan regained control of last month.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the war ended in 1994. A number of regions around it, including Aghdam, had also been in Armenian hands.

In 44 days of fighting that began in late September and left more than 5,600 people killed on both sides, the Azerbaijani army pushed deep into Nagorno-Karabakh, forcing Armenia to accept a peace deal last month that saw Azerbaijan reclaim much of the separatist region along with surrounding areas.

The peace agreement was celebrated in Azerbaijan as a major triumph, and last week a massive military parade was held in Baku to mark it. In Armenia, the truce sparked outrage and mass protests, with thousands regularly taking to the streets to demand the ouster of the country’s prime minister over his handling of the conflict.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has defended the deal as a painful but necessary move that prevented Azerbaijan from overrunning the entire Nagorno-Karabakh region.

On Monday, Pashinyan announced a three-day mourning starting from Saturday to honor the victims of the fighting.

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