Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: missile hits Gandja, Azerbaijan's second largest city

Rescuers at work in Gandja, October 17, 2020. Ismail Coskun / IHA via AP

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This Saturday, October 17, a missile hit a residential area in Gandja, Azerbaijan's second city, a resident of which told AFP he saw seven victims emerging from the rubble.


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The strike of this Saturday, October 17, which hit a residential area in Gandja, comes a few hours after Stepanakert, the capital of the separatist region of Nagorno Karabakh, was the target of bombardments.

The city has been bombed many times since hostilities resumed between Yerevan-backed separatist forces and Azerbaijani soldiers on September 27.

The bombardments have almost emptied it of its inhabitants.

Bare hands

In Gandja, AFP journalists saw houses destroyed by the missile which struck at around 3 a.m. local time.

Residents in tears fled the scene, some in pajamas and slippers.

Dozens of rescuers were looking for survivors in the night, bare hands, in the rubble.

After a few hours of searching, a team left black body bags, including one with a head and an arm, in an ambulance.

AFP journalists subsequently saw three people carried on stretchers but it was not clear whether they were dead or alive.

My wife was there, my wife was there

 ," shouted a man who was led to an ambulance by a medic.

According to residents, more than 20 people lived in the affected area.

A resident said he saw a child, two women and four men removed from the rubble.


A woman lost her legs.

Someone else has lost an arm,

 ”said Elmir Shirinzaday, 26.

More than 20 houses have been destroyed 


Hikmat Hajiyev, an adviser to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, said in a


that " 

according to initial information, more than 20 houses have been destroyed 


The city of Gandja had already been struck Sunday by a missile which had killed ten people.

AFP journalists in the nearby town of Mingecevir, an hour's drive north of Gandja, said they heard a loud explosion that rocked the building they were in at around the same time.

Mingecevir is protected by an anti-missile system because it houses a strategic dike.

It was not clear whether any missiles had been destroyed in flight or whether they had hit the city.


with AFP


To read also: Nagorno-Karabakh: despite the ceasefire, Stepanakert affected by new bombardments


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  • Azerbaijan

  • Armenia

  • Nagorno-Karabakh

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