GANJA, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan shot down two Armenian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) on Tuesday, the country’s Defense Ministry said.

The drones were taken down in two different locations, according to the ministry.

The first UAV was destroyed in the direction of Ganja city, while the second was downed over the village of Tapgaragoyunlu in the Goranboy region, the ministry said in two separate statements.

Clashes erupted between the two former Soviet republics on Sept. 27, when Armenia first launched attacks on civilian settlements.

It has since continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.

In two missile attacks on Ganja, a major Azerbaijani city far from the front line, Armenia killed some two dozen civilians, including children, and injured scores more.

Last Thursday, Armenia targeted civilians at a cemetery in the western city of Tartar, killing four and injuring four others.

Over the past 10 days, Armenia has violated two humanitarian cease-fires in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

A new humanitarian cease-fire entered into force last Saturday.

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.

In total, 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 (OSCE) 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 new cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.

* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk

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