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ICRC strongly condemns latest surge in violence as civilian casualties mount in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

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A statement from Martin Schüepp, International Committee of the Red Cross Eurasia Regional Director, in Geneva.

"Alongside thousands of civilians, the ICRC witnessed intense shelling in urban areas on both sides of the front line today, leading to death, destruction, injuries and desolation. This is unacceptable. Tragically, a volunteer from the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society, a father of two, was killed in the shelling. Two other volunteers were injured. The ICRC offers its most heartfelt condolences to the family of the volunteer and to the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society.

"Since the onset of the escalation at the end of September, the ICRC has urged the sides to take all feasible measures to protect and spare civilians and civilian infrastructure like hospitals, schools, markets and cultural property. These are not voluntary gestures. These are obligations under international humanitarian law.

"These latest exchanges signal that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict risks spiraling out of control. It is civilians across the region who are suffering the consequences. Civilian lives are being lost at an alarming rate and people are also suffering life-changing injuries. Significant damage has also been inflicted on civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities.

"The ICRC is in contact with the sides in bilateral, confidential dialogue to remind them of their obligations under international humanitarian law. The appalling scenes that we are seeing cannot continue."

For further information, please contact:

Zara Amatuni, ICRC delegation, Yerevan, tel: +374 99 011 360
Ilaha Huseynova, ICRC delegation, Baku, tel: +994 50 316 00 24
Eteri Musayelyan, ICRC Nagorno-Karabakh mission, tel: +374 97 29 80 85
Sam Smith, ICRC London, tel: +44 7809 374593