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In this image taken from footage released by the Armenian Defense Ministry on Sept. 27, 2020, the Armenian army destroys Azerbaijani tanks at the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan.

The Associated Press

Fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces has erupted again over the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the territory’s Defence Ministry said 16 soldiers and two civilians have been killed and more than 100 others wounded.

Azerbaijan’s President, meanwhile, says his military has suffered losses, but gave no details.

Armenia also claimed that four Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down and 33 Azerbaijani tanks and fighting vehicles were hit by artillery. Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry rejected an earlier claim that two helicopters were shot down.

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The heavy fighting broke out in the morning in the region that lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since 1994 at the end of a separatist war.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the fighting, the heaviest since clashes in July killed 16 people from both sides.

Nagorno-Karabakh authorities reported that shelling hit the region’s capital of Stepanakert and the towns of Martakert and Martuni. Armenian Defence Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan also said Azerbaijani shelling hit within Armenian territory near the town of Vardenis.

The territorial Defence Ministry said late Sunday that 18 people were killed, including a woman and her grandson and more than 100 wounded.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev ordered martial law be imposed in some regions of the country and called for a curfew in major cities.

In a televised address to the nation, Mr. Aliyev said that “there are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment,” but didn’t give further details. He also claimed that “many units of the enemy’s military equipment have been destroyed.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “is conducting intensive contacts in order to induce the parties to cease fire and start negotiations to stabilize the situation,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

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Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, called on the sides to stop fighting. The long-unsuccessful negotiations for resolving the territory’s status has been conducted under OSCE auspices.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian on Sunday said the country could re-examine whether to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as independent. Such a move would likely obstruct further negotiations.

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif of Iran, which borders both Azerbaijan and Armenia, said “We call for an immediate end to hostilities and urge dialogue to resolve differences. Our neighbours are our priority and we are ready to provide good offices to enable talks.”

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin condemned Armenia.

“Armenia has violated the ceasefire by attacking civilian settlements ... the international community must immediately say stop to this dangerous provocation,” Mr. Kalin tweeted. Turkey is a close ally of Azerbaijan and locked in a long dispute with Armenia that has closed the countries' border since the early 1990s.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “calls on the sides to immediately stop fighting, de-escalate tensions and return to meaningful negotiations without delay,” said his spokesman Stephane Dujarric. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun called the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to urge cessation of hostilities, said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.

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Mostly mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh – a region around 4,400 square kilometres – lies 50 kilometres from the Armenian border. Local soldiers backed by Armenia also occupy some Azerbaijani territory outside the region. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are former Soviet republics that have long disputed ownership of the region.

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces clash

over disputed region

RUSSIA

IRAN

LIBYA

EGYPT

0

800

KM

GEORGIA

Caspian

Sea

RUSSIA

Tibilisi

ARMENIA

AZERBAIJAN

Yerevan

Baku

Nakhchivan

55

0

KM

NAGORNO-KARABAKH

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are former Soviet republics that have long disputed ownership of the region.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN;

OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; HIU

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces clash

over disputed region

RUSSIA

IRAN

LIBYA

EGYPT

0

800

KM

GEORGIA

Caspian

Sea

RUSSIA

Tibilisi

ARMENIA

AZERBAIJAN

Yerevan

Baku

Nakhchivan

55

0

KM

NAGORNO-KARABAKH

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are former Soviet republics that have long disputed ownership of the region.z

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN;

OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; HIU

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces clash over disputed region

GEORGIA

RUSSIA

Tibilisi

Caspian Sea

ARMENIA

Baku

AZERBAIJAN

Yerevan

TURKEY

Nakhchivan

RUSSIA

NAGORNO-KARABAKH

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are former Soviet republics that have long disputed ownership of the region.

55

0

KM

IRAN

LIBYA

EGYPT

0

800

IRAN

KM

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN; OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; HIU


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