At Least 20 Dead After Explosion at Nagorno-Karabakh Fuel Depot

Officials stated on Tuesday that not less than 20 individuals had been killed, and practically 300 wounded, in an explosion at a gas depot within the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh area of Azerbaijan on Monday.

Emergency employees took 290 sufferers “with various degrees of burns” to 4 completely different medical amenities after the blast close to town of Stepanakert, the well being ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh stated in a press release.

Seven of these individuals died, and 13 our bodies had been recovered on the web site and brought to a forensics workplace, the ministry stated. Dozens of sufferers had been nonetheless in essential situation, it stated.

“The doctors and medical staff in Stepanakert are doing their best to save the lives of the wounded in these difficult and cramped conditions,” the ministry stated.

The explanation for the explosion was not instantly clear. The Associated Press reported that it occurred as individuals had been lining as much as refuel their automobiles as they had been evacuating Nagorno-Karabakh.

Thousands of ethnic Armenians have been fleeing the breakaway area for Armenia since a army offensive final week introduced the enclave again underneath Azerbaijan’s management.

Armenians and Azerbaijanis had lived peacefully round Nagorno-Karabakh, a area the dimensions of Rhode Island within the South Caucasus, for many years till the autumn of the Soviet Union. Ethnic Armenians took management of the area in 1994 with the backing of the Armenian army.

Azerbaijan led a 44-day conflict in 2020 towards the ethnic Armenian management, gaining management of many of the area. Last December, Azerbaijan put in a blockade to the one highway connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia, reducing off the area from meals and gas provides and worsening a humanitarian disaster.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s human rights ombudsman, Gegham Stepanyan, who was elected to the function by the breakaway republic’s lawmakers, stated on Monday after the explosion that many of the victims had been in extreme situation, with out offering particulars, and warned that the area didn’t have enough medical amenities.

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