Violence Erupts Between Armenia And Azerbaijan Over Long-Disputed Region


Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a telephone conversation with President of France Emmanuel Macron. Azerbaijan has been seeking to take back control of the territory, as well as several surrounding regions occupied by Armenian forces.

The move is a response to Azerbaijan's attack on civilian settlements in the disputed territory, according to Armenian Defense Ministry.

Casualties were unclear but Armenia's defence ministry said an unspecified number of civilians had been killed by Azerbaijan's forces. "Armenia has violated the ceasefire by attacking civilian settlements [.] the worldwide community must immediately say stop to this risky provocation".

Armenian government press sources are also citing Armenian intelligence and reporting that 4,000 mercenaries are fighting alongside Azerbaijani troops. Hikmet Hajiyev, a senior adviser to Aliyev, accused Armenian forces of launching "deliberate and targeted" attacks along the front line. Azerbaijan said an unspecified number of its civilians had been killed.

Also on Sunday, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said it is now launching a counter-offensive in the region.

Meanwhile, talks to resolve the long lasting conflict have been largely stalled since 1994 when the ceasefire agreement was inked.

The news was harshly received by Azerbaijan's close ally, Turkey, which vowed complete support for Baku and called on Armenia to give up its "aggression".

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"The enemy has launched an air and missile attack in the direction of Nagorno-Karabakh", Armenian Defense Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan wrote in a Facebook post. "Because they have always clearly realized that Armenophobia, enmity and hatred with which the Azerbaijani dictatorship has been feeding its people for decades could not lead to any result other than war".

Pakistan has voiced concerns over the deteriorating security situation in volatile Nagorno-Karabakh region and rebuked Armenian forces for targeting civilian population of Azerbaijan.

Nagorno Karabakh is a mainly ethnic Armenian region that is internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan. Both sides have heavy military presence along a demilitarised zone separating the region from the rest of Azerbaijan.

United Nations chief said he was "extremely concerned over the fresh resumption of hostilities".

The rebel defence ministry said its troops shot down four Azerbaijani helicopters and 15 drones, while Baku denied the claims. At least 16 people were killed in clashes in July.

Georgia also calls on the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and the rest of the global community to spare no efforts to ensure the suspension of the confrontation on the ground and resumption of peace talks between the sides.

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