By Ruslan Rehimov
BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA) – At least four civilians were killed and 10 wounded when the Armenian army targeted civilian settlements in Azerbaijan in a breach of cease-fire.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said the Armenian army opened fire on the cities of Goranboy, Tartar, and Barda with cannon balls and missiles.
Four civilians, including two women and a seven-year-old girl, were killed and 10 others wounded in the missile attack in Barda, Hikmet Hajiyev, Azerbaijani presidential aide, said on Twitter.
“Armenia is continuing committing war crimes,” Hajiyev said.
A new US-brokered temporary humanitarian truce between Azerbaijan and Armenia was announced Sunday and came into effect as of 8 a.m. local time (0400GMT) Monday morning.
Since the clashes erupted on Sept. 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian cease-fires since Oct. 10. To date at least 65 Azerbaijani civilians have died and 297 others were injured.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly as well as international organizations demand the "immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces" from the occupied Azerbaijani territory.
In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.
World powers including Russia, France and the US have called for a lasting cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.
*Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara