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Armenia, Azerbaijan Exchange Accusations Over Ceasefire Violations

Armenia, Azerbaijan Exchange Accusations Over Ceasefire Violations

Sunday, 18 October, 2020 - 06:30
Armenian soldiers stand in a trench at their position near Nagorno-Karabakh's town of Martuni, April 8, 2016. REUTERS/Staff

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Sunday of violating a new humanitarian ceasefire in fighting over the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, hours after it was agreed.


The truce agreed on Saturday came into force at midnight after a week-old Russian-brokered ceasefire failed to halt the worst fighting in the South Caucasus since the 1990s.


The Armenian defense ministry said the Azeri army had fired twice during the night and used artillery.


Also, the Azeri defense ministry said: "The enemy fired at the vicinity of the Jabrail city, as well as the villages of this region ... using mortars and artillery".


It added that the Azeri army "took adequate retaliatory measures".


Officials in Nagorno-Karabakh said Azeri forces had launched an attack on the enclave's military positions and there were casualties and wounded on both sides, Reuters reported.


Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountain territory that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.


The ceasefire earlier this month was aimed at letting the sides swap detainees and bodies of those killed in the clashes, but it had little impact on the fighting around the enclave.


The new truce was announced on Saturday after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talked to his Armenian and Azeri counterparts by phone and called on sides to observe the truce that he mediated a week ago.


Russia, France and the US belong to the Minsk Group, which has attempted to help resolve the conflict under the umbrella of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).


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