April 23, 2024

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New clashes erupted between Azerbaijan and Armenia

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(Reuters) – Russian news agencies reported early on Tuesday that clashes erupted between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in a resumption of decades-old hostilities linked to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan, which reasserted full control of the region in a six-week conflict in 2020, has acknowledged casualties among its forces. Armenia did not mention casualties, but said clashes continued into the night.

The Yerevan government said it would be based on a cooperation agreement with Russia and invite the Russia-led security bloc, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the United Nations Security Council, Interfax reported.

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In addition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan invited French President Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to discuss the situation.

Blinken urged an immediate end to the hostilities that each side blamed on the other. Read more

The agencies quoted a statement issued by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry as saying that “several sites, shelters and reinforcement points of the Azerbaijani armed forces … were subjected to intense bombardment by weapons of various calibers, including mortars, by units of the Armenian army.”

As a result, there are personnel losses and damage to the military infrastructure.”

Azerbaijani statements said that the Armenian forces participated in intelligence activities on its borders, transferred weapons to the region, and on Monday evening conducted mining operations.

It said its actions were “local in nature and targeted at military objectives.”

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The Armenian Defense Ministry said: “Intense firing continues – it started as a result of a large-scale provocation from the Azerbaijani side. The Armenian armed forces launched a proportionate response.”

The conflict first erupted in the late 1980s when both sides were under Soviet rule and Armenian forces captured vast tracts of land near Nagorno-Karabakh – internationally recognized as Azerbaijan’s territory, but with a large Armenian population.

Azerbaijan regained those territories in the fighting of 2020, which ended with a Russian-brokered armistice and the return of thousands of residents to the homes from which they fled.

Since then, the leaders of the two countries have met several times to come up with a treaty aimed at establishing a lasting peace.

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Reporting by Reuters. Editing by Ron Popesky, Chris Reese, and Sam Holmes

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.