The hospitals in the conflict region are apparently overwhelmed by the care of hundreds of injured people.
An explosion at a fuel depot in Nagorno-Karabakh has killed at least 20 people, according to local authorities. Around 300 others were injured and taken to hospitals. Dozens of them are in critical condition, it said.
The authorities reported a strong explosion on Monday evening not far from the regional capital of the embattled region. It is still unclear what caused the catastrophe in the Armenian-majority region, which was attacked and defeated by Azerbaijan last week.
Chaotic conditions in hospitals
Politician Metakse Akopjan said that at the time of the accident, many people were queuing for gasoline at the camp because they wanted to flee the Azerbaijanis to Armenia in cars. Photos and videos on social media showed numerous canisters lying around.
The office of the Nagorno-Karabakh Human Rights Commissioner wrote on Platform X that its own medical capacities were not sufficient to save people’s lives.
Nagorno-Karabakh journalist Siranush Sargasyan reported overcrowded hospitals and panic among people looking for relatives.
13,350 refugees arrived in Armenia
The humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, which has long been contested between the two feuding former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan, is catastrophic. Azerbaijanis have been blocking the only Armenian access road for months, which is why food, medicine and gasoline are in short supply in the region.
After the latest escalation of violence last week, pro-Armenian fighters signed a ceasefire agreement. On Monday, the region’s leadership announced that anyone who wanted to travel to Armenia after Azerbaijan’s military operation could do so. There are already traffic jams on the roads leading from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia. The authorities of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh said that free fuel would be provided to those who wanted to leave.
According to the government in Yerevan, at least 13,550 of the approximately 120,000 ethnic Armenians have so far arrived in Armenia.