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Wednesday, September 17, 2014


An Azerbaijani Town On The Front Lines

Published 4 August 2014

The Azeri town of Ciraqli sits almost on top of the Line of Contact dividing Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh, the region controlled by Armenian-backed separatists. There has been fighting around the town in the last week, but residents have been dealing with conflict in the area for far longer than that. RFE/RL photographer Abbas Atilay went to the town in the Agdam district to record what life is like there for the residents.

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Siyavus, 36, says he witnesses clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on a daily basis. 

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One of the doors on Siyavus's property is less than 100 meters from the zone of conflict.

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Siyavus has two boys. One stands at the bullet-riddled door on his property.

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Siyavus always checks for danger when passing areas that are in the line of fire.

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There are also creative ways to look around dangerous corners.

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Siyavus collects stray bullets that he digs out of the walls of his property.

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Siyavus is concerned about his mother's safety. 

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The doors and windows of the house are reinforced with concrete to protect against stray bullets.

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The walls of the house are pock-marked with old bullet holes.