The Office of the Human Rights Commissioner in the internationally unrecognized republic reported at least 200 injuries and an unknown number of deaths in an area not far from the regional capital, Stepanakert.
In the disputed conflict zone of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus, hundreds of victims were killed after a fuel depot exploded. On Monday evening, the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner in the internationally unrecognized republic reported at least 200 infections and an unknown number of deaths in an area not far from the regional capital, Stepanakert. It was initially unclear what caused the disaster in the Armenian-majority region, which was attacked and defeated by Azerbaijan last week.
Large flames can be seen in photos on social media. Politician Mitaksi Akopjan said that at the time of the incident, many people were queuing for gasoline at the camp because they wanted to flee the Azerbaijanis to Armenia by car.
The Human Rights Office in the region appealed to the international community: It is urgently necessary to transfer people, especially those seriously injured, to receive treatment. “Nagorno-Karabakh’s medical capacity is not enough to save people’s lives,” the message posted on Platform X, formerly known as Twitter, said.
The humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, long disputed between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan, is already catastrophic. The Azerbaijanis have blocked the only Armenian access road for several months, which is why there is a shortage of food, medicine and gasoline in the region.
Last Tuesday, authoritarian Azerbaijan launched a military operation to invade Nagorno-Karabakh. Only one day later, the defeated Karabakh Armenians surrendered. According to Armenian sources, more than 200 people were killed during the short fighting and more than 400 others were injured. Tens of thousands of Armenian civilians in the region now fear displacement or persecution by the new Azerbaijani rulers.