A large explosion occurred at a fuel storage facility in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave on Monday. The separatist government speaks of two hundred infections and an unknown number of deaths, but these numbers have not yet been confirmed by other sources.
The explosion occurred at a fuel depot between Stepanakart and Askeran. It is not yet clear how this could happen.
Pictures showing large flames are circulating on social media. According to politician Mitaksi Akopjan, the explosion occurred when many people were queuing to get gasoline because they wanted to flee to Armenia for fear of the Azerbaijanis.
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Human rights official Jigam Stepanyan said many of the injured were in serious condition. Emergency services are said to be on site, but the enclave’s medical capacity is not enough to treat everyone, according to Stepanyan. He appeals to the international community to allow the wounded to be transported by air to receive treatment.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region is located in Azerbaijan, but is mainly inhabited by ethnic Armenians and is largely self-administered. Azerbaijan attacked the enclave last week, claiming to expel Armenian separatists. A day later, the groups reached a truce.
Since then, thousands of people have fled the enclave. The region’s administration is said to be preparing to transfer power to Azerbaijan.
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