Azerbaijan opens artillery fire against Armenia, reports casualties

Elias Hubbard
July 13, 2020

According to the Armenian Defense Ministry, the flareup started after soldiers from the other side attempted to cross the border in a vehicle.

The clashes also injured two Armenian troops and five Azerbaijani soldiers.

The ministry said in a statement that Armenia's "offensive" from its northern Tavush region was met with a "counterstrike".

A little more than an hour later, Stepanyan said, the Azerbaijani troops launched a second attempt to cross the border, this time using artillery fire.

"They were repulsed, suffering losses in manpower".

At least three soldiers have been killed in a border clash between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Baku has said.

"Azerbaijan's political and military leadership will bear the responsibility for the consequences of the escalation", she said.

Armenian militias in Nagorno-Karabakh fought a successful six-year-long guerrilla war against Azerbaijan.The latest major flare-up between Armenia and Azerbaijan happened in April 2016, when the nations fought for four days and deployed heavy weapons, including tanks and aircraft.

Referring to the military alliance, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's office said on Sunday that Armenia's "military adventure" was aimed at drawing CSTO into the fighting.

On Tuesday, Aliyev threatened to withdraw from Karabakh negotiations "if they yield no results". He did not provide further details.

Armenia's foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed the crisis over the phone with the head of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a Moscow-led military bloc.

All-out war between the two countries could drag in regional powers including Armenia's military ally Russian Federation and Azerbaijan's patron Turkey, which compete for geopolitical influence in the strategic region.

Aliyev accused Yerevan of military buildup along the two countries' border and of "regularly" shelling civilian targets in Azerbaijan.

Mainly Armenian populated Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan amid a 1988-94 war that claimed an estimated 30,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

In 2016, deadly clashes in Karabakh almost spiralled into full-scale war.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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