Missile strike in Azerbaijan’s city of Ganja has killed at least 13, injured over 40

At least thirteen civilians were killed and more than 40 were wounded in an attack on Azerbaijan’s second city of Ganja.

A missile attack levelled a row of homes on Saturday, killing and badly injuring people in their sleep in a sharp escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Armenia denied it was behind the attack and in turn accused Azerbaijan of continued shelling on Stepanakert, the main city of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The attack on Ganja marks a sharp escalation in the conflict.

According to Hikmat Hajiyev, an assistant to the Azeri president, “more than 20 houses were destroyed” in the attack.

Among the dead were two children.

The attack on Ganja, which has a population of more than 300,000 people, came only six days after a missile struck another residential part of the city, killing 10 civilians and leaving many on edge.

Soon after the attack Azeri President Ilham Aliyev promised “revenge”.

Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan, condemned the attack and called it a “war crime”.

The fighting which began on September 27 is the worst in the region since Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces went to war in the 1990s over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway Azeri region predominantly populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.

More than 700 people, including nearly 80 civilians, have been killed in the conflict so far.