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Fresh clashes erupt between Azerbaijan, Armenia

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Sept 13 (Reuters) – Clashes erupted between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, Russian news agencies reported in early stages Tuesday, in a resumption of decades-old hostilities from the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan, which re-established full control on the territory in a six-week conflict in 2020, acknowledged casualties among its forces. Armenia made no reference to losses, but said clashes persisted overnight.

The Yerevan government said it could invoke a cooperation agreement with Russia and interest a Russia-led security bloc, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and also the US Security Council, Interfax reported.

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Each side blamed another for the outbreak in fighting.

“Several positions, shelters and reinforced points of the Azerbaijan military … came under intense shelling from weapons of varied calibres, including mortars, by units of the Armenian army,” the agencies quoted a statement by Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry as saying.

“Because of this, you can find losses in personnel and harm to military infrastructure.”

Azerbaijani statements said Armenian forces have been engaged in intelligence activity on its border, moved weapons in to the area and on Monday night had conducted mining operations.

It said its actions were “strictly local in nature targeted at military targets.”

Armenia’s Defence Ministry said: “Intensive shooting is continuing – started because of a large-scale provocation by the Azerbaijani side. Armenia’s military have launched a proportionate response.”

Conflict first broke out in the late 1980s when both sides were under Soviet rule and Armenian forces captured swathes of territory near Nagorno-Karabkah – long recognised internationally as Azerbaijan’s territory, but with a big Armenian population.

Azerbaijan regained those territories in the 2020 fighting, which ended with a Russian-brokered truce and a large number of residents time for homes that that they had fled.

The leaders of both countries have since met many times to hammer out a treaty designed to set up a lasting peace.

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Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Ron Popeski and Chris Reese

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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