Azerbaijani Army Major-General Polad Gashimov and Colonel Ilgar Mirzoyev were killed in border clashes between soldiers of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Azerbaijan’s APA news agency reported on Tuesday.
“Major-General Polad Gashimov and colonel Ilgar Mirzoyev died heroically in the morning battles,” the news agency quoted the deputy defense minister as saying. Azerbaijan’s state news agency AzerTAc also confirmed this information.
There are reports that at least 16 people, including the army general, have been killed in fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan forces in the worst border clashes in years. Conflicts on the volatile border between the two neighbours commenced on Sunday and Azerbaijan said it has lost 11 soldiers and one civilian while Armenia acknowledged the loss of four troops.
Azerbaijanis gathered early Wednesday in front of the National Assembly building in the capital demanding that they be mobilized amid clashes with Armenian forces on the frontier.
Thousands of Azerbaijanis marched in the streets of Baku to protest against the occupation of Upper Karabakh by Armenia and attacks by its forces since Sunday on border positions of the Azerbaijani army which have resulted in casualties.
Azerbaijanis living in Baku and surrounding areas formed a cortege in the streets of the city in the evening. Holding Azerbaijani flags and chanting “Karabakh is ours, and will remain ours,” they gathered in front of the country’s parliament building, where they demanded the government to declare a mobilization as they are ready to go to the frontlines and protect their motherland.
On Sunday, Armenian forces, as per their media reports, violated an ongoing ceasefire and targeted positions of Azerbaijan’s army in northwestern Tovuz district along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border, resulting in casualties. Azerbaijan’s armed response forced the Armenian army to retreat, suffering losses.
As a result, an Azerbaijani civilian was killed in artillery fire in Aghdam village in Tovuz. “Targeting Azerbaijani civilians with heavy guns is clear proof of fascism and barbarism. This is part of the occupation policy of Armenia.
The Armenian side has purposefully killed Azerbaijani civilians before, thus committing acts of crime against humanity,” Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. A total of 11 Azerbaijani soldiers have been killed, including high-ranking officers, and another four wounded in fighting with Armenian forces since Sunday.
Nearly 100 Armenian soldiers have been killed during the period, according to Kerim Veliyev, Azerbaijan’s deputy defense minister. Azerbaijan earlier stated that Armenia hides its casualties.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the Armenian attack, adding that Turkey will not hesitate to stand against any kind of attacks against Azerbaijan. Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, has been illegally occupied since 1991 through Armenian military aggression.
Four UN Security Council resolutions and two UN General Assembly resolutions as well as decisions by many international organizations refer to this fact and demand the withdrawal of the occupational Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.