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Baku claims Armenia used Smerch systems in shelling of Ganja

Earlier, Azerbaijan reported that during the shelling of city four civilians were wounded and another one was killed

BAKU, October 4. /TASS/. Armenia used Smerch multiple rocket launchers in the shelling of Ganja, a city in western Azerbaijan, Hikmet Hajiyev, an aide to Azerbaijan’s president, told a briefing on Sunday.

He showed the photos of an unexploded munition launched in the city.

"This photo clearly shows that Smerch systems were used," Hajiyev said, also noting that the Armenian forces had used cluster munitions to "increase the scale of destruction."

Earlier, Azerbaijan reported that during the shelling of Ganja, the second largest city in the country, four civilians were wounded and another one was killed. A major damage was inflicted to the city.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.