Azerbaijan says 192 of its troops were killed in last week’s offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh

by Sophia Chen
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Nagorno-Karabakh casualties

Azerbaijan has reported that in the recent offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, a total of 192 Azerbaijani troops lost their lives, and 511 were wounded. This announcement was made by the country’s Health Ministry on Wednesday. Additionally, one Azerbaijani civilian tragically lost their life during the hostilities.

On the other side, Nagorno-Karabakh officials previously stated that their casualties amounted to at least 200 individuals, including 10 civilians, with over 400 wounded during the intense fighting.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh has seen significant population displacement, with more than a third of the region’s residents having already left. This trend is expected to continue, especially since separatist troops have agreed to disarm, and Azerbaijan has lifted a 10-month blockade on the road connecting the territory to Armenia.

Azerbaijan and separatist officials have engaged in two rounds of discussions concerning the “reintegration” of Nagorno-Karabakh and its predominantly ethnic Armenian population into the primarily Muslim country. However, the exact details of this reintegration plan remain unclear.

It’s important to note that Nagorno-Karabakh is a region of Azerbaijan that fell under the control of ethnic Armenian forces, backed by the Armenian military, following separatist conflicts that concluded in 1994. In a six-week war in 2020, Azerbaijan reclaimed portions of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding territories that Armenian forces had previously claimed during the earlier conflict.

In December, Azerbaijan imposed a blockade on the sole road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. This action was taken amid allegations that the Armenian government was using the road for mineral extraction and illicit weapons shipments to the separatist forces in the region. Armenia countered by asserting that the closure was depriving Nagorno-Karabakh’s approximately 120,000 residents of essential food and fuel supplies. Azerbaijan argued that the region could receive supplies through the Azerbaijani city of Aghdam, a solution that Nagorno-Karabakh authorities had long resisted, viewing it as a strategy by Azerbaijan to gain control of the region.

Amid these developments, approximately 42,500 individuals, or around 35% of Nagorno-Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian population, had departed for neighboring Armenia by Wednesday morning, according to Armenian authorities. Reports of lengthy traffic jams on the road linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia emerged on Tuesday.

Furthermore, a tragic incident occurred at a gas station near Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital, Stepanakert, where people were queuing to refuel their vehicles before departing for Armenia. On Monday night, an explosion at the gas station claimed the lives of at least 68 individuals, as reported by Nagorno-Karabakh’s human rights ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan. Another 290 individuals were wounded, and as of Tuesday evening, 105 individuals remained missing.

The Armenian Health Ministry has stated that 237 individuals who were wounded during both the hostilities last week and the gas station explosion on Monday have been evacuated from Nagorno-Karabakh by ambulance and helicopter. They are receiving the necessary medical treatment, and the evacuation of the injured is an ongoing process, according to the ministry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Nagorno-Karabakh casualties

What were the casualties reported in Azerbaijan’s offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh?

A total of 192 Azerbaijani troops were reported killed, with 511 wounded, according to the country’s Health Ministry. Additionally, one Azerbaijani civilian lost their life in the hostilities.

What were the casualties on the Nagorno-Karabakh side?

Nagorno-Karabakh officials stated that at least 200 people on their side, including 10 civilians, were killed, and over 400 were wounded during the fighting.

What is the current population displacement situation in Nagorno-Karabakh?

More than a third of the region’s population has already left, and it’s expected that more will follow after separatist troops agreed to disarm, and Azerbaijan lifted a 10-month blockade of the road linking the territory to Armenia.

What is the background of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

Nagorno-Karabakh is a region of Azerbaijan that came under the control of ethnic Armenian forces in separatist fighting that ended in 1994. Azerbaijan regained parts of Nagorno-Karabakh during a six-week war in 2020.

Why was there a blockade on the road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia?

In December, Azerbaijan imposed a blockade on this road, alleging that Armenia was using it for mineral extraction and illicit weapons shipments to the separatist forces. Armenia argued that this blockade was denying essential supplies to Nagorno-Karabakh’s population.

What happened at the gas station near Stepanakert?

An explosion at a gas station near Stepanakert resulted in the loss of at least 68 lives and left 290 wounded. Additionally, 105 individuals were considered missing as of Tuesday evening, according to Nagorno-Karabakh’s human rights ombudsman.

What measures are being taken for the injured?

The Armenian Health Ministry reported that 237 individuals wounded during both the recent hostilities and the gas station explosion have been evacuated by ambulance and helicopter from Nagorno-Karabakh. They are receiving necessary medical treatment, and the evacuation of the injured is ongoing.

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