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Nagorno-Karabakh Fuel Depot Blast Kills 20, 300 Injured

Nagorno-Karabakh has been shaken by a staggering blast at a fuel depot, resulting in the loss of at least 20 lives and leaving nearly 300 people injured. The incident has additionally intensified the emergency in the area, as thousands of ethnic Armenians scramble to escape the escalating conflict between Azerbaijan and the local Armenian forces.

Nagorno-Karabakh Fuel Depot Blast Kills 20, 300 Injured

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The blast happened close to the main city of Khankendi, known as Stepanakert by Armenians, and its cause remains shrouded in uncertainty.

The sheer size of the misfortune has overwhelmed neighborhood specialists, who are grappling with a dire shortage of medical resources and supplies to treat the critically injured victims. Hospitals in Stepanakert have been pushed to their limits, and the situation is dire.

As the smoke and turmoil from the blast disperse, another emergency is unfurling on the roads connecting Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.

Gas stations are blockaded by huge number of desperate residents attempting to leave the region, which had already been struggling with a severe fuel shortage due to a months-long blockade.

The only road leading to Armenia is clogged with cars and buses, filled with ethnic Armenians seeking refuge in the neighboring country.

The excursion is laden with vulnerability, as families attempt to pack their lives into vehicles, unsure if they will ever return to their homes. Among them is Malina, who left behind her husband’s grave in their village.

He surrendered to the pressure and uneasiness that had tormented the area since the incident of viciousness in 2020.

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Malina, joined by her four grandchildren, remains hopeful that this displacement will be temporary, not wanting to shatter the illusion of safety her grandchildren hold onto.

The circumstance in Nagorno-Karabakh crumbled quickly after local forces surrendered to Azerbaijan. Despite assurances from Azerbaijani authorities, fear looms over the residents, driving them to leave their homes for what they perceive as a safer haven in Armenia.

Their villages, once clamoring with life, presently stand unfilled and forlorn, a haunting testament to the upheaval that has shaken the region.

Azerbaijan, anxious to reconstruct trust and associations with the ethnic Armenian population, has put forth attempts to give help to Nagorno-Karabakh.

However, the flow of humanitarian assistance has been slow, and there are concerns that thousands of residents are left without adequate food, shelter, and medical care.

The circumstance is critical, with numerous people looking for asylum in basements, school buildings, or the open air.

The aftermath of the fuel depot blast has just exacerbated the enduring individuals in Nagorno-Karabakh. Reports from local authorities paint a dreary picture, with doctors working tirelessly in cramped conditions to save the lives of those injured.

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Emergency clinics are immersed with patients, a large number of whom have supported extreme burns. The medical facilities in Nagorno-Karabakh are overwhelmed, and the health ministry in Armenia is mobilizing helicopters to evacuate patients from the region.

In the midst of the tragedy and misfortune, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has raised concerns of ethnic cleansing taking place in Nagorno-Karabakh. He implores the international community to take action and protect the rights of civilians in the region.

Azerbaijan, on the other hand, insists that it seeks to reintegrate ethnic Armenians as equal citizens, emphasizing a commitment to peaceful coexistence. The world has not stayed quiet on the unfurling emergency.

Samantha Power, the head of the US Agency for International Development, has called on Azerbaijan to maintain the ceasefire and ensure the safety of civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh. She announced a substantial aid package of $11.5 million to assist those fleeing the conflict.

The history of Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region in the South Caucasus, adds layers of intricacy to the ongoing conflict. While internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, the region has been under the de facto control of ethnic Armenians for more than three decades.

Armenia and its ally, Russia, have supported Nagorno-Karabakh, and Russia has maintained a peacekeeping mission in the area for the past three years.

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