Late on 25 September 2023, a strong explosion occurred at a busy gas station located near the Stepanakert-Askeran Highway in the ethnic-Armenian breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. According to regional officials, hundreds of people had gathered at the site to obtain gasoline at the time of the explosion; a mass exodus of ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia is ongoing following the recent Azerbaijani military victory in the region. At least 20 people were reported killed in the blast and nearly 300 more were hospitalized for injuries, including many in critical condition. The cause of the blast is unknown, although a separatist official stated that sabotage is unlikely.