Nagorno-Karabakh fighting continues despite truce efforts



Armenia and Azerbaijan reported more fighting on Tuesday over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, where clashes have continued for over three weeks despite two attempts at establishing a cease-fire.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said the hostilities carried on overnight and accused Armenian forces of shelling the Terter and the Agdam regions of Azerbaijan in the morning. Two civilians were killed and one wounded in the Terter region, Azerbaijani authorities said.

Armenian Defense Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanian reported “intensive fierce battles” on Tuesday morning in the southern areas of the conflict zone, and alleged that Azerbaijani forces were using aviation and artillery in the northern sector, reports AP.

The two countries announced a cease-fire on Saturday in a bid to halt the fighting that has killed hundreds since Sept. 27, when the latest outbreak of hostilities started, marking the worst escalation of a decades-old conflict. The agreement — just like a cease-fire deal brokered by Russia a week earlier — was almost immediately challenged by mutual claims of violations and the fighting resumed unabated.
Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994. By then, Armenian forces not only held Nagorno-Karabakh itself but also captured substantial areas outside the territory’s borders.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said the nation’s military reclaimed control over multiple towns and villages in the Jabrayil and Fizuli regions, two of the seven Azerbaijani regions outside Nagorno-Karabakh that were seized by Armenian forces during the war in the early 1990s.

Aliyev also said Azerbaijani forces took control of the town of Zangilan and several nearby villages just south of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as a number of villages in the region.

According to Nagorno-Karabakh officials, 773 of their troops have been killed since Sept. 27, along with over 30 civilians. Azerbaijan hasn’t disclosed its military losses, but says 61 civilians have died so far and 291 have been wounded.

The deadly flighting prompted calls for the cessation of hostilities from around the globe and raised concerns of a wider conflict involving Turkey, which has publicly supported Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a security pact with Armenia.

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