By Farid Gakhramanov
Baku, Oct 6 (efe-epa).- The Nagorno-Karabakh war has spread beyond the disputed region and hit Azerbaijan’s civilian population without distinguishing age or social status, according to testimonies collected on Tuesday by Efe.
“I am 78 years old and I’m used to the noise of the bombings because Terter my hometown is only five kilometers from the front line,” says Elshad Husainov.
“I lived here the first war of Karabakh but I do not remember that there would have been bombings like there were on the first day of the new war.”
Husainov, who lives on a state pension, says the shelling began at around 7 am on 27 September.
“In spite of myself, I have learned perfectly the sounds of war,” he tells Efe in a phone interview.
“They were shooting at us with tanks and heavy artillery. It was an incessant bombardment.
“Dozens, perhaps hundreds of projectiles fell on the city.”
He says he and his family were lucky because their home was not damaged unlike some of their neighbor’s houses which were destroyed.
“We left the city. You could say we ran away because we left with the clothes on our backs. We settled in Burda, about 20 kilometers east of Terter,” Husainov adds.
“From Terter we are told that there is a lot of destruction. Even a kindergarten was destroyed. Thank God, there was no one inside,” he says in a trembling voice.
Barda, home to around 40,000 people, is located less than 300 kilometers from Baku and is the city where many of those fleeing the front line have gone to.
Kamil Guliev, a 62-year-old from the village of Aleskerli, moved with his family to Barda on the first day of the military strikes.
“Almost 30 years ago we lived in conditions of war but I don’t remember such intense shelling. We came to some relatives,” he tells Efe.
There was not enough room for everyone so he sleeps in a cafe that has been provisionally set up as a shelter.
“At first I used to go to Aleskerli at night to feed the animals but I don’t do that anymore, it is very dangerous,” he says, adding that Barda has also been shelled.
Sabir Mamedov, a 45-year-old from Barda, tells Efe that the war has come to his town.
“First (the Armenians) attacked the surrounding villages and now they are already cannonading Burda. There is a lot of wounded and destruction,” he says.
Mamedov says the attacks on towns away from the conflict zone were “revenge by the Armenians for the advance of the Azerbaijani army”.
“We have understood that negotiations are useless,” he adds.