Journalists and Official Killed in Landmine Explosion near Azerbaijan-Armenia Border
Left: Siraj Abishov, cameraman for Azerbaijan Television. Right: Maharram Ibrahimov, Azer Taj correspondent. Both were killed when a mine exploded in the Kalbajar district of Azerbaijan. Image: Azer Taj
Today (June 4, 2021), in the Kalbajar district of Azerbaijan, three died, and four others were injured when a vehicle transporting a group of journalists struck an anti-tank mine near the village of Susuzluq. Reports gave the names of the deceased as Maharram Ibrahimov, a correspondent for Azer Taj, Siraj Abishov, a cameraman for Azerbaijan Television and Arif Aliyev, a representative of the Kalbajar mayor’s office. Given the state of the vehicle after the blast, as shown on Report.az, it’s a miracle that there were any survivors.
The incident underlines the very real dangers facing those reporting from and working to rebuild the de-occupied regions. According to the Azerbaijan prosecutor's office, this brings to 27 the number of Azerbaijanis killed by landmines in the de-occupied territories since the ceasefire last November. Some 155 have been wounded. The authorities’ lack of access to maps, not shared by retreating Armenian forces, has been one of many sticking points in mending relationships between the neighbouring countries following the 2nd Karabakh War of 2020.