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At least 125 people killed in Monday’s explosion at Nagorno-Karabakh gas station, Artsakh officials say

These figures were provided by Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tigran Khachatryan.



Reuters: Ministry of Internal Affairs, Republic of Artsakh/Handout

A devastating explosion at a congested gas station in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region claimed the lives of at least 125 individuals, leaving nearly 300 others injured.

This tragic incident occurred as thousands of ethnic Armenians hurried to escape into neighboring Armenia, as reported by the authorities of the separatist territory on Tuesday.

Approximately 19,000 people, constituting about 16% of the region’s population, have sought refuge across the border following Azerbaijan’s rapid military operation, which resulted in the defeat of separatist forces that had governed the breakaway region for nearly three decades.

These figures were provided by Armenia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tigran Khachatryan.

As soon as Azerbaijan lifted the 10-month blockade on Nagorno-Karabakh’s sole road to Armenia, residents rushed to flee the region.

This blockade had led to severe shortages of essential supplies like food, medicine, and fuel. Although Azerbaijan has assured that Armenians’ rights will be respected, many inhabitants were apprehensive about potential retaliations.

Thomas de Waal, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Europe think tank, remarked, “I believe the majority of people in Karabakh will opt to move to Armenia.

They are being instructed to assimilate into Azerbaijan, a nation they have never been a part of. Most of them are not familiar with the language and are being asked to dismantle their local institutions. This is a proposition that the majority of Karabakh’s populace will likely reject.”

Late on Monday, a tragic explosion occurred at a gas station outside Stepanakert, the capital of the region.

According to the health department of the separatist government, 13 bodies have been recovered, and seven individuals succumbed to injuries sustained in the blast.

Additionally, 290 people have been admitted to hospitals, with many still in critical condition. While the cause of the explosion remains uncertain, David Babayan, a presidential aide from Nagorno-Karabakh, indicated that preliminary information points to negligence, dismissing the possibility of sabotage.

On Tuesday morning, Armenia’s health ministry reported that a helicopter transported some of the blast victims to Armenia, with additional flights anticipated.

The Russian peacekeeping force stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh also supplied helicopters for the purpose of transferring victims to Armenia.