Two construction workers injured by a landmine in Khojaly

Azerbaijani officials report that two construction workers were injured yesterday (21 July) at about 23:00 after a landmine exploded in a section of the Khojaly district that returned to Azerbaijani control in last year's war. Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency names the men as Tahir Mahmudov and Yasin Mehraliyev, employees of a company conducting construction work in the district, reporting that the men received injuries of “varying severity”. The Khojaly District Prosecutor’s Office is reportedly currently investigating the incident. 

At present, the territories that returned to Azerbaijani control through last year's 44-day war remain heavily mined, and over 140 Azerbaijanis are reported to have been killed or injured by landmines and other unexploded ordnance since the ceasefire on 10 November 2020. Azerbaijani officials, including the president, continue to warn citizens not to enter the areas illegally, without official permission.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have now conducted two apparent quid pro quo 'exchanges' of Armenian detainees for maps of minefields. On 12 June, Azerbaijan returned 15 detainees to Armenia, receiving maps of 97,000 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines in the Agdam district; and on 3 July, another 15 Armenian detainees were returned at the same time as Azerbaijan received maps of 97,000 mines in the Fuzuli and Zangilan districts.


source: with Trend (Baku) and agencies
photo: Azerbaijani landmine warning sign (archive)