Roads out of Karabakh jammed as Armenians flee

9 個月前

STORY: An emotional moment for this Armenian father and his children, reuniting after fleeing their home in Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday.

They are among thousands of ethnic Armenians who fled the breakaway enclave, after Azerbaijan launched a lightning military takeover of Karabakh last week.

Satellite images show a long line of traffic jamming the road out of Karabakh.

Of the 120,000 ethnic Armenians who call the region home, some 28,000 had crossed into Armenia as of Tuesday evening, according to the country’s government.

Many who managed to cross the border described a difficult but necessary trek.

This woman said this is the fourth war she’s lived through – and that her husband died in the first one.

She said the journey was “horrible”, with children hungry and crying, but added they were all running away “to survive”.

Others gave harrowing accounts of the war and many deaths – including civilians.

Reuters was unable to independently verify accounts of the military operation inside Karabakh.

Azerbaijan has said it targeted only Karabakh fighters.

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev about the situation.

“President Aliyev has said there will be no further military action and we expect him to abide by that. He has also said that he would accept an observer mission and we would expect him to abide by that.”

Washington also announced $11.5 million in humanitarian aid for the crisis in Karabakh.

Speaking in Armenia, U.S. Agency for International Development head Samantha Power urged Azerbaijan to maintain the ceasefire and clear the way for aid delivery.

Meanwhile, the death toll from a fuel depot explosion and fire on Monday was in the dozens one day later, according to the office of Karabakh's ombudsman.

More than 105 people remained missing, and hundreds were injured, some critically.

Video released by Russia’s Defense Ministry showed its personnel bringing the injured to hospital.

Authorities have yet to explain a possible cause of the blast.