December 14, 2020 11:32:24 AM
Armenia and Azerbaijan blamed each other on Sunday for violating ceasefire conditions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region dispute.
The Azerbaijani government says four of its troops were killed in Nagorno-Karabakh after a group of Armenian fighters ambushed its forces on November 26th.
The deaths are the first to be reported during the ceasefire of the conflict, which lasted more than a month.
In turn, Armenia said six separatist fighters were injured in clashes with Azerbaijani troops after fighting broke out on Friday night.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted in September, with clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian-backed separatists over the mountainous region.
The fighting ended on November 10, thanks to a peace agreement brokered by Russia that saw Armenians surrender parts of its territory.
More than 5,000 people, including civilians, were killed during fighting between former Soviet rivals, who had previously gone to war in the 1990s for the mountainous region.
Russia has deployed nearly 2,000 peacekeepers in the troubled region for at least five years to monitor the peace agreement and facilitate the return of refugees.
Moscow confirms the ceasefire violation
Responding to Armenian accusations, the Baku government said the weekend clashes took place in an area that fell under its control, while its forces were conducting a military operation against enemy forces responsible for the deadly attacks on Azerbaijani soldiers.
But Armenia said its forces were simply rejecting attempts to intrude on Azerbaijani forces in territories that should remain under the control of the rebel province government.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry said Russian forces were not present in the area where the clashes broke out.
The Azerbaijani State Security Service fired, saying that “unfounded accusations against the Azerbaijani parties and Russian peacekeeping forces by some Armenian leaders and media” are unacceptable.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported that the ceasefire was violated for the first time, but remained silent on the blame.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev warned that Armenia “should not try to start over.” “He must be very careful and not plan any military action. This time, we will completely destroy them. It should not be a secret to anyone, “Aliyev said.
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