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Azerbaijani Servicemen Wounded in Terrorist Attack by Armenian Citizen

By Timucin Turksoy November 13, 2021

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The explosion of the RGD-5 hand grenade thrown by Armenian national Norayr Mirzoyan, Khankendi-Lachin highway, Karabakh, Azerbaijan, November 13, 2021 / Courtesy

A citizen of Armenia has committed a terrorist act, throwing a grenade at the Azerbaijani army’s servicemen and Russian peacekeepers stationed near the Dashalti village of Azerbaijan’s Shusha city.

According to Azerbaijan’s Attorney General’s Office, on November 13, a group of people led by Armenian national Norayr Mirzoyan left Azerbaijan’s city of Khankendi and headed towards Lachin in a car with Armenia-registered number. The group possessed hand grenades and other firearms and explosives. Mirzoyan left the car near the Dashalti village of Azerbaijan’s Shusha city and deliberately threw an RGD-5 anti-personnel fragmentation grenade at the servicemen of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces and Russian peacekeepers stationed in the area.

As a result, he inflicted various degrees of injuries to Sergeant Hafiz Nasibov and two other Azerbaijani servicemen, “with the intent of murder motivated by ethnic hatred.”

Attorney General’s Office said it had launched an immediate investigation into the incident based on five different articles of the Criminal Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, Mirzoyan, aged 46, was reportedly captured by the Russian peacekeepers on the spot. He has been identified as a participant of the last year’s 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the latter’s Karabakh (Garabagh) region.

Armenia and Azerbaijan had been in an armed conflict for nearly 30 years over the Karabakh (Garabagh) region, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan. Armenia launched full-blown military aggression against Azerbaijan following the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991. The bloody war lasted until a ceasefire in 1994 and saw Armenia occupying 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories. Over 30,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, and one million were expelled from those lands in a brutal ethnic cleansing policy conducted by Armenia.

On September 27, 2020, the decades-old conflict took a violent turn after Armenia’s forces deployed in the occupied Azerbaijani lands shelled military positions and civilian settlements of Azerbaijan. During the counter-attack operations that lasted 44 days, Azerbaijani forces liberated over 300 settlements, including the cities of Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan, Gubadli, and Shusha, from nearly 30-year-long illegal Armenian occupation. The war ended in a tripartite statement signed on November 10 by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia. Under the statement, Armenia also returned the occupied Aghdam, Kalbajar, and Lachin districts to Azerbaijan.

Under the tripartite statement, a total of 1,960 Russian peacekeepers oversee the peace and adherence to a ceasefire in the Armenian-inhabited part of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region. The contingent will stay there for five years with the possibility of extension unless any of the signatory parties object to this extension six months before the expiration of the current period.

Despite the operation of the peacekeepers, the ceasefire in the region remains fragile amidst armed provocations of the illegal Armenian armed groups. Since the ceasefire’s announcement on November 10, 2020, Armenian armed groups resorted to numerous armed offensives on the Azerbaijani military posts.

Just days after the ceasefire came into force, illegal Armenian armed detachments hiding in the forests around the Khojavand district of Azerbaijan committed two deadly attacks, killing four Azerbaijani servicemen and a civilian. The attackers were identified as terrorists who illegally crossed the border.

Meanwhile, Shusha has been targeted by the Armenian gangs at least nine times since mid-July of 2021. On September 3, Armenian armed detachments targeted Shusha from Azerbaijani territories, where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed. The shelling lasted more than an hour before the provocation of illegal Armenian armed detachments was prevented by Azerbaijani forces.