ON THE GROUND

Residents flee Azerbaijani town of Tartar as Nagorno-Karabakh conflict escalates

Residents flee the Azerbaijani town of Tartar.
Residents flee the Azerbaijani town of Tartar. © FRANCE 24

Residents in the Azerbaijani town of Tartar have been forced to flee their homes as fighting in the neighbouring region of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian separatist enclave, has escalated in recent weeks. FRANCE 24 reports.

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The streets of Tartar have been deserted ever since Azerbaijan’s army staked out a position in the town, making it a major target in the conflict.

“[The Armenians are] bombing the town, you can see it for yourself. The residents have all had to flee. They have destroyed this town,” Mehman Nasivov, the deputy mayor of Tartar, told FRANCE 24 as an explosion resounded nearby.

Azerbaijani authorities have said that Tartar, which has a population of 70,000, has emptied in recent days as residents seek shelter from the relentless exchange of artillery fire.

Many have gone to the nearby town of Barda, just 20 kilometres (12 miles) to the east. Although farther from the front line, the town has also been hit by missile fire.

“Even though we are afraid, we’re safer here,” one resident told FRANCE 24. “But we want to go back to our land.”

Click on the video above to view the full report. 

 

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