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Fatalities reported on both sides as Armenian, Azerbaijan troops clash

Azerbaijan’s defense ministry denied the claim that its helicopters and tanks had been hit

Sunday September 27, 2020 5:10 PM, ummid.com News Network

Armenia Azerbaijan War 2020

Yerevan/Baku: Armenia declared martial law and mobilised its male population on Sunday after clashes with Azerbaijan over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region in which sources on both sides reported fatalities.

Authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh, a mainly ethnic Armenian region inside Azerbaijan which declared independence in 1991, also announced martial law and mobilised the male population after clashes which the two sides blamed on each other.

Armenia said Azerbaijan had carried out an air and artillery attack on Nagorno-Karabakh, but Azerbaijan said it had responded to Armenian shelling, according to news agency Reuters.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said two Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down. Associated Press citing ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan also said Armenian forces hit three Azerbaijani tanks.

Azerbaijan’s defense ministry however denied the claim that its helicopters and tanks had been hit. But President Ilham Aliyev said in a televised address to the nation that “there are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment.”

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said it launched a “counterattack” after accusing Armenians of firing on its military positions and on civilian settlements near the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory.

Armenia on the other hand said Azerbaijan started bombarding along the contact line separating the two forces and shelled civilians including in the region’s capital, Stepanakert.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan that has been out of Azerbaijan’s control since the end of a war in 1994. Both sides have heavy military presence along a demilitarized zone separating the region from the rest of Azerbaijan.

The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh has flared repeatedly since Armenians took control of the territory and seven surrounding districts from Azerbaijan in a war after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Hundreds were killed in a five-day war in 2016 before Russia pressured both sides to resume a cease-fire that was first brokered in 1994. Despite decades of mediation by the U.S., France and Russia, no peace agreement has been signed.

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