More than 100,000 refugees have arrived in Armenia since Azerbaijan’s military operation to retake control of Nagorno-Karabakh, the United Nations said, while thousands more endured long hours of delay in a huge traffic jam at the border.
“Many are hungry, exhausted and need immediate assistance,” Filippo Grandi, head of the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, said on social media late on Friday. “International help is very urgently required.”
Italy said Armenia had asked the European Union for temporary shelters and medical supplies to help it deal with the refugees.
Following a lightning Azerbaijani offensive that returned the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control, many of Karabakh’s 120,000 Armenians began what became a mass exodus towards Armenia, saying they feared persecution and ethnic cleansing despite Azerbaijan’s promises of safety.