October 6, 2020 - 17:55 AMT
Amnesty: Banned Israeli cluster bombs used against Karabakh civilians

An Amnesty International investigation has confirmed the use of banned Israel-made M095 DPICM cluster munitions against civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh. The organization said the munitions appear to have been fired by Azerbaijani forces.

“The use of cluster bombs in any circumstances is banned under international humanitarian law, so their use to attack civilian areas is particularly dangerous and will only lead to further deaths and injuries,” said Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s acting Head of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The Armenian side has been publishing video and photo evidence that prove the deployment of cluster munitions.

On October 4, the Ombudsman of Artsakh, Artak Beglaryan, addressed the international community to once again urge them to confront the use of banned weapons in the ongoing crisis.

Azerbaijan has been targeting civilian settlements from the very first moments of unleashing a major assault along the Karabah line of contact on September 27.

As a result of Azerbaijan's shelling and rocket fire, schools, kindergartens, residential buildings and other civilian infrastructure in the various cities of Karabakh have been damaged.

The Azeri army is also using cluster munitions to target civilian settlements and the peaceful population of Artsakh.

Armenian Defense Ministry representative Artsrun Hovhannisyan has said that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are using LAR-160 multiple launch rocket systems to fire cluster munitions prohibited by humanitarian law into the civilians settlements of Karabakh.

A cluster munition is a form of air-dropped or ground-launched explosive weapon that releases or ejects smaller submunitions. Because cluster bombs release many small bomblets over a wide area, they pose risks to civilians both during attacks and afterwards․

Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey, launched a large-scale offensive against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27, shelling Armenian positions and civilian settlements with large caliber weapons and rocket systems. Armenia and Karabakh have introduced martial law and total mobilization. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. International and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages.

Donations can be made to Hayastan All-Armenian Fund, which has launched a fundraising campaign to support Karabakh amid Azerbaijan's aggression.