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Azerbaijan Delays Takeover, Denounces Fleeing Armenians

MOSCOW—Azerbaijan on Nov. 15 postponed taking control of a territory ceded by Armenian forces in a cease-fire agreement, and denounced civilians leaving the area for burning houses and committing what it called “ecological terror.” The cease-fire ended six weeks of intense fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region and territories outside its formal borders that had been under the control of Armenian forces since 1994. The agreement calls for Azerbaijan to take control of the outlying territories. The first, Kelbajar, was to be turned over on Nov. 15. But Azerbaijan agreed to delay the takeover until Nov. 25 after a request from Armenia. Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev said worsening weather conditions made the withdrawal of Armenian forces and civilians difficult along the single road through mountainous territory that connects Kelbajar with Armenia. After the agreement was announced early on Nov. 10, many distraught residents preparing to evacuate …