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Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of breaking latest ceasefire

  • Oct 18, 2020
  • Author: QT-Online
  • Number of views: 688
  • Top News
DPA
Yerevan 
Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of violating a new "humanitarian ceasefire" in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region on Sunday morning, hours after it came into effect at midnight (2000 GMT Saturday).
A spokeswoman for the Armenian Ministry of Defence said that there had been rocket and artillery fire from the opposing side early on Sunday and that there were victims on both sides.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence later accused Armenia of having "grossly" violated the ceasefire.
The city of Jabrayil and several villages previously under Azerbaijan's control were allegedly bombarded from the Armenian side, according to the ministry.
Azerbaijan then "took retaliatory measures," it said.
According to media reports, Azerbaijan on Sunday announced its readiness to hand over the bodies of Armenian soldiers outside the conflict area on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border to Armenia. The Nagorno-Karabakh authorities gave a similar assurance.
The new attempt at peace, announced by both foreign ministries on Saturday evening, came as both Russia and France said they had made an attempt to mediate an end to the latest flare-up over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Hours after the new ceasefire was broken, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the United States, Russia and France of providing military support to Armenia.
Speaking in Sirnak in south-eastern Turkey, Erdogan reiterated his support for Azerbaijan, saying he was "praying" the country could succeed in the conflict by ousting the Armenians from "occupied territory." Armenia and Azerbaijan blamed each other for breaking the peace shortly after a further attempted ceasefire came into force last weekend.
The two ex-Soviet republics have been fighting for decades over the mountainous region with around 145,000 inhabitants.
Christian Nagorno-Karabakh is controlled by Armenia, but under international law it belongs to the Muslim-majority nation of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan lost control of the area in a war that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union some 30 years ago. A fragile ceasefire had been in place since 1994.
Thousands of people have fled the region, predominantly inhabited by Christian Karabakh Armenians, since fighting flared up again on September 27.
The Armenian Defence Ministry has said that more than 600 soldiers have been killed since then.
Azerbaijan has so far not provided any information on losses in its armed forces but it says that more than 50 civilians were killed in Armenian attacks.