Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up again Monday evening, with both sides reporting intense artillery shelling.
The fighting took place in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, an area of Azerbaijan where ethnic Armenian separatists proclaimed a breakaway republic – later known as Artsakh – in 1991.
At a press conference early on Tuesday, Armenian defense spokesman Aram Torosyan said the situation remains “extremely tense” as the fighting continues.
Armenia, Azerbaijan act guilty of violence
Both countries claimed to have launched proportionate responses against what they saw as provocations from the other side.
“At 00:05 a.m. [local time] Azerbaijan launched intensive shelling on Tuesday with artillery and large-caliber firearms on Armenian military positions toward the cities of Goris, Sotk and Jermuk,” the Armenian Defense Ministry said.
However, Azerbaijan accused Armenian forces of carrying out “large-scale subversive actions” earlier Monday evening near the border districts of Dashkesan, Kelbajar and Lachin by placing land mines and mobilizing weapons.
“The countermeasures of the Azerbaijani army in response to the provocation by the Armenian army are local and targeting legitimate military objects that serve as firing points,” added the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan.
Armenian troops said they then launched a “proportionate” response. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said its troops were “fired intensely with weapons of various calibres, including mortars” by units of the Armenian army.
Both sides acknowledged the casualties of the troops, but did not disclose any figures.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict broke out in the late 1980s
Long-running feud over Nagorno-Karabakh
The ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh has been the scene of two wars between Azerbaijan and Armenia in recent decades.
The area was controlled by Armenian separatists for nearly 30 years until Azerbaijan regained control of most of the territory after a six-week war in 2020 and a Russia-brokered ceasefire.
Last week, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of killing one of its soldiers in a border battle, while Azerbaijan also accused Armenia of shooting at its troops in recent months.
zc/dj (TBEN, Interfax, Reuters, dpa)