Azerbaijan condemns Armenian forces for using bomb-laden dogs

Azerbaijan condemns Armenian forces for using bomb-laden dogs

Illegal Armenian armed forces attempted to carry out a terrorist attack against the Azerbaijani military units by sending a bomb-laden dog in the Khojavend area, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Daily Sabah, citing Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry on Monday.

In a statement, the ministry said Armenian forces sent the bomb-laden dog toward Azerbaijani soldiers on guard in the Khojavend region at 8:30 a.m. local time.

They placed an improvised explosive device on the dog and forced it to walk toward the Azerbaijani soldiers, who noticed the bomb on the dog and foiled the attack.

The ministry condemned the provocation, saying it violates the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. The ministry also said using animals as tools for suicide attacks is an unethical act and amounts to terrorism.

Armenian armed groups have been using similar methods to carry out attacks in the region.

For instance, they placed an improvised explosive device inside a toy dog and threw it in the Tovuz River in July 2011. A 13-year-old child by the name of Aygün Şahmaliyeva in the Alibeyli Village found the bomb-laden toy and died after it exploded, while her mother Elnare Şahmaliyeva was critically injured as a result of the explosion.

Baku has been blaming Yerevan for a gridlock in peace efforts since tensions escalated in December over a checkpoint in the Lachin corridor.

The mountainous region has been at the center of a decades-long territorial dispute between the two countries. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, ethnic Armenian separatists in Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, broke away from Azerbaijan resulting in the deaths of some 30,000 people.

The sides fought two wars to control Karabakh in the 1990s and again in 2020. Six weeks of fighting in autumn 2020 ended with a Russian-sponsored cease-fire that saw Armenia cede swathes of territories back to Azerbaijan it had illegally controlled for decades.

In April this year, Azerbaijan set up the border checkpoint at the entrance to its Lachin corridor, which Armenia alleged was a “blockade” of Karabakh. Tensions soaring over the move left another half a dozen killed from both sides since December.

Baku denied the claims, saying the checkpoint was installed in response to security threats from Armenia and citing the smuggling of weapons and ammunition to Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region by Armenia. Earlier this month, it temporarily halted operations at the checkpoint pending an investigation into the Armenian branch of the Red Cross for taking part in the alleged smuggling of contraband.