Iran denounces Ganja attack as ‘war crime’


TEHRAN – Iran’s embassy in Baku has denounced a deadly missile attack on the Azerbaijani city of Ganja, saying the attack violated international norms and was a “war crime”.

“The embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Baku roundly rejects the last midnight’s missile attack on the city of Ganja, which has left dozens of civilians dead and injured,” the embassy said in a statement on Saturday.

The statement added, “[The embassy] while expressing sympathy with the grieving families and wishing  a speedy recovery for the injured, reiterates that attacking cities and innocent people goes against all legal principles and the recognized international norms and is considered a war crime that must be stopped as soon as possible.”

At least twelve civilians were killed and more than 40 others injured after Ganja, the second-largest city of Azerbaijan, came under a missile attack that the general prosecutors of Azerbaijan said the Armenian Army was responsible for.

Hikmet Hajiyev, an assistant to the president of Azerbaijan, accused Armenia of firing “SCUD ballistic missile” from its territory, a claim Armenia denied.

“The ballistic missiles have been fired from the territory of Armenia against the city of Ganja. It is far away from combat zone. There was no military necessity. Armenia’s Foreign Ministry in vile manner attempts to deny its state responsibility for these nefarious war crimes,” tweeted the assistant.

Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a deadly war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by local Armenia forces. The Azerbaijan-Armenia war began nearly three weeks ago when the two sides began clashing on the contact lines along the borders in Nagorno-Karabakh. Since then, Azerbaijan has insisted on expanding its sovereignty over the disputed region, with Armenia heavily supporting the local forces in Nagorno-Karabakh who are fighting against Azerbaijan.

MS/PA

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