Karabakh military conflict: Baku and Yerevan blame each other
The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan made mutual accusations in connection with the sharp exacerbation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, where the fighting began again. Reports about it bbc.com
Baku says that Azerbaijani units deployed in the conflict zone were fired from large-caliber guns. The Armenian authorities claim that the Azerbaijani side was the first to launch artillery fire, after which it used tanks and helicopters.
Both countries report dead and wounded, including children.
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced civilian casualtiesand about the loss of 12 soldiers killed, one shot down by a MI-24 helicopter and a tank hit by a mine. At the same time, according to the ministry, the Armenian army lost six tanks, 15 artillery systems, as well as more than 100 killed and wounded.
Later, the Ministry of Defense of Nagorno-Karabakh reported 200 killed soldiers of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan.
However, the Armenian Ministry of Defense denied these reports.
“The tense situation is observed in the southern direction of the contact line of the Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. Certain hostilities continue in this direction, ”said Artsrun Hovhannisyan, press secretary of the Armenian Defense Minister.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed regret that the situation in the zone of the Karabakh conflict "has again slipped into an armed confrontation." This was announced by his press secretary Dmitry Peskov. He added that Putin "calls on the parties to the conflict for an immediate ceasefire and exercise of restraint."
The Minsk Group co-chairs - representatives of Russia, USA and France - also made a statement on the Karabakh events.
“We strongly condemn the use of force and deplore the senseless casualties, including among civilians,” the statement says, calling on “the parties to cease fire and take all necessary measures to stabilize the situation”.
“We reaffirm that there is no alternative to a peaceful settlement of the conflict through negotiations, and that there is no military solution,” the OSCE is confident.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev promised that Baku will continue its efforts to peacefully resolve the Karabakh conflict, but its resolution, he specified, should take place "on the basis of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan." Aliyev said this during a speech at the US nuclear security summit, reports rbc.ru
History of conflict
<br>• The Karabakh conflict, which began more than 100 years ago, is rooted in rivalry over this territory between Armenians, who traditionally adhere to Christianity, and the Muslim influence of the Turkic and Persian peoples.
• After the regional parliament decided in 1988 to join the Armenian SSR, tensions led to a surge in violence.
• The ethnic Azerbaijanis, who constituted about a quarter of the population of the region before the war, fled from Karabakh and Armenia, and ethnic Armenians were forced to flee from Azerbaijan.
• In 1994, with the mediation of Moscow, an armistice was signed, putting an end to active hostilities in the region, but leaving Karabakh under Armenian control.
• The peaceful resolution of the conflict came to a standstill after the talks between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2009, followed by several serious armed incidents at the border.
• The word "Karabakh" comes from the Turkic-Persian phrase meaning "black garden".
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