Mine kills three, injures two de-miners in Nagorno-Karabakh

YEREVAN (Reuters) - At least three people working for a landmine clearing charity were killed and two more wounded when an anti-tank mine hit their vehicle on Thursday in Azerbaijan’s breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, the charity said on Thursday.

Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous part of Azerbaijan, is run by ethnic Armenians who declared independence during a conflict that broke out as the Soviet Union crumbled in 1991.

Though a ceasefire was agreed in 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia still regularly accuse each other of carrying out attacks in the area. The conflict flared up again in 2016 and saw a number of deadly incidents over the past year.

“Our colleagues were killed while working to make the land safe for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh,” The Halo Trust, a Scottish charity that has cleared minefields worldwide and was once sponsored by the late Princess Diana, said in a social media post.

The breakaway region’s self-proclaimed foreign ministry confirmed the incident. Karabakh authorities said the staff who were killed were locals.

Reporting by Hasmik Mkrtchyan; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh