Armenia and Azerbaijan commerce accusations as new ceasefire fails

A brand new ceasefire to cease preventing in one of many world’s longest-running conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh seems to have failed.

Hours after the ceasefire got here into impact at midnight on Sunday, Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another of violations with artillery bombardments.

Armenia’s defence ministry launched video footage of what it mentioned was Azerbaijani troops “grossly” violating the ceasefire with artillery bombardments 4 minutes after the truce got here into impact. Azerbaijan mentioned Armenian forces continued shelling the battle line and border areas north of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The ceasefire is the second try and cease the preventing, which has killed at the least 1,000 individuals because it started in late September. A Russia-brokered truce shortly collapsed final week.

Nagorno-Karabakh is inside Azerbaijan’s borders however is populated by ethnic Armenians who run the unrecognised statelet with assist from Armenia.

The flare-up is the worst since a battle within the early Nineties over the enclave, a territory within the Caucasus Mountains that’s residence to 150,000 individuals, through which greater than 30,000 had been killed.

Azerbaijan claimed it had retaken two of seven border areas outdoors of Nagorno-Karabakh seized by Armenia throughout the battle. Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s president, mentioned in an deal with earlier than the ceasefire that “Azerbaijan will give its response and it’ll achieve this completely on the battlefield”.

Azerbaijan’s vow to retake the area by power has been boosted by high-tech weaponry and political assist from Turkey.

Armenia, which has a mutual defence pact with Moscow, and Russia additionally say that Azerbaijan is utilizing Turkish-hired mercenaries from Syria and Libya — a declare denied in Baku and Ankara.

Turkey, which has thrown its weight behind Azerbaijan’s efforts to reclaim land that Baku says is illegally occupied, has appeared lukewarm concerning the prospect of a ceasefire. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly pressured in latest weeks that he needs to see a “lasting resolution” to the battle after the failure of many years of mediation by Russia, France and the US.

Talking earlier than the ceasefire announcement, Turkish defence minister Hulusi Akar accused these calling for negotiations and a halt to the preventing of “watching from afar as Armenia commits battle crimes”.

Azerbaijan mentioned 13 individuals died and an additional 50 had been wounded on Saturday when Armenian missile strikes hit residential areas in Ganja, the nation’s second-largest metropolis, which is 40km north of the battle zone.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s authorities launched an announcement claiming Ganja was residence to a number of “legit” army installations, although Armenia denied it was accountable for the assault. Authorities in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital, mentioned three civilians died throughout an Azerbaijani artillery assault on Saturday.

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