Azerbaijani victims injured in missile attacks Wednesday by Armenia in Barda shared their terrifying experience with Anadolu Agency.
“I was standing in front of a shop in the bazaar during the attack. Bombs rained down on us. We started to flee in panic,” said Aynure Ibrahimova, who sustained injuries to her stomach.
She received treatment at Yevlakh State Hospital.
For Intikam Agayev, the attacks were swift, leaving him no time to react.
"I was sitting in my car in the city center of Barda. Suddenly, I heard the explosion and the screams of the people around me. I was injured too,” he said.
Agayev was injured in his foot and face with shrapnel that hit the vehicle. "I could not remember how I was brought to the hospital. I opened my eyes and found myself in the hospital bed,” he said.
His cousin, Intikam, said he saw pieces of bombs falling from the air and the bazaar suddenly turned into a battlefield with everyone in a panic.
Yevlakh State Hospital Director Azer Ismailov said 26 wounded civilians, including a child, were taken to hospitals in Yevlakh and Mingachevir, Several were in severe condition.
At least 21 civilians were killed and nearly 70 others injured in the attack.
Nearly 3-decade occupation
Since clashes erupted Sept. 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian cease-fire agreements since Oct. 10.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.
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 occupied Azerbaijani territory.
About 20% of Azerbaijan's territory -- including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions -- has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Minsk Group -- co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US -- was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.
World powers, including Russia, France, and the US have called for a sustainable cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.
*Writing by Gozde BayarAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.