In an article named “In Azerbaijan, a String of Explosions, Screams and Then Blood”, the author writes that the first explosion was loud enough to make the reporters stop the car they were driving.
“At the time of the blast on Wednesday, we were driving along the main street of the provincial town of Barda, Azerbaijan, toward an intersection. Azerbaijan is at war with Armenia, but the frontline was 20 miles away and life to that point was going on uneventfully in the area. Women were out shopping, men were filling their cars at the gas station,” the report said.
The article said that in Azerbaijan, a string of settlements close to the frontline has suffered almost daily rockets strikes. The attack on Barda, which lies slightly further from the frontline, appeared to be an escalation, the report said.
“We piled into the car and began driving out of town but came upon another scene of carnage at the very next intersection. Wrecked cars stood at awkward angles. Someone had draped blankets over bodies inside two of the cars. A pair of shoes and more blood lay on the ground beside another vehicle. The road was blackened and the air smelled of explosives,” the article said.
“In all, 21 people died in downtown Barda in the rocket strike and 70 people were wounded, the government said in the evening, adding that the rockets were fired from Smerch multiple-rocket system and unleashed cluster bomblets. Designed to be used against armies in open spaces, cluster bombs are banned in much of the world because of their danger to civilians in residential areas,” it added.
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