Baku, Azerbaijan – Armenia Azerbaijan war: Bloodbath in disputed region as Putin urges countries to ceasefire.
A clash between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh has left sixteen dead and more than 100 injured, officials have reported.
A fight between forces of both countries broke out on Sunday in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan’s president said Azerbaijani soldiers had lost their lives in the clash.
Armenia claimed that two Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down and three Azerbaijani vehicles were hit.
However, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry has refuted Armenia’s report.
The Nagorno-Karabakh leader Arayik Harutyunyan said the sector had lost sections to Azerbaijan’s military.
The region lies in Azerbaijan’s territory but is ruled by ethnic Armenian military supported by Armenia since 1994.
Azerbaijan defence ministry said the latest clash was started by Armenian violence and attact first.
Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh imposed martial law and military mobilization.
Hikmet Hajiyev, senior adviser to Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, claimed Armenian troops conducted “deliberate and targeted” attacks.
Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said Armenia had targeted civilians as well as military positions along the “contact line”.
It added Armenia carried out “intensive shelling” that led to the deaths of civilians.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concern about tensions in the region, the Kremlin press service reported on Sunday.
Mr Putin spoke to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan over the telephone about the situation.
Mr Pashinyan initiated the phone call to the Russian President.
The press agency said: “The conversation focused on the situation in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Russian side expressed serious concern over large-scale armed clashes.
It was noted that it is important now to do everything possible to prevent further escalation of the conflict and stop hostilities.
Russia has called for the stop of violent encounters in the disputed sector.
A spokeswoman for the ministry said Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov “is conducting intensive contacts in order to induce the parties to cease fire and start negotiations to stabilise the situation”.