Azerbaijan on Saturday accused Armenia of striking its second-largest city with a ballistic missile that killed at least 13 civilians and wounded 50 others in a new escalation of their conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Armenian Defense Ministry denied launching the strike, but the separatist authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh put out a statement listing alleged “legitimate” military facilities in the city of Ganja, although they stopped short of claiming responsibility for the attack.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev vowed on Saturday to take revenge on Armenia after a missile strike killed 13 people in the city of Ganja, a dramatic escalation in the conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The early hours attack, which also saw a strike on the nearby strategic city of Mingecevir, came hours after Azerbaijani forces shelled Stepanakert, the capital of the ethnic Armenian separatist region.
Azerbaijani officials said the Soviet-made Scud missile destroyed or damaged about 20 residential buildings in Ganja overnight, and emergency workers spent hours searching in the rubble for victims and survivors.
The explosions in Ganja levelled a row of houses and left at least 40 people injured in an attack Aliyev described as “a war crime”.
In televised remarks, he said his army would “take revenge on the battlefield” and promised to capture Karabakh by driving out Armenian forces “like dogs”.
The attack came six days after a missile struck another residential part of the city of more than 300,000 people, killing 10 civilians and leaving many on edge.
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