Armenia, Azerbaijan report violations of new ceasefire

October 18, 2020 - 22:49

Despite a second attempt at a cease-fire, Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations Sunday of violating the new truce in their destructive conflict over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The latest truce, which was announced Saturday and took force at midnight, was the second attempt to establish a cease-fire since heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sept. 27. The fighting and shelling has killed hundreds of people - both combatants and civilians - and marks the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict over the region in more than a quarter-century, AP reported. 

Armenian military officials on Sunday reported artillery shelling and missile strikes by Azerbaijani forces carried out in the conflict zone overnight. In the morning, "the enemy launched an attack in the southern direction" of the conflict zone, and there were "casualties and wounded on both sides," Armenian Defense Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanian said.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, in turn, maintained that Armenian forces used mortars and artillery in the conflict zone overnight despite the cease-fire and in the morning attempted attacks in several directions. The ministry also accused Armenia of using large-caliber weapons to attack the positions of the Azerbaijani army in two regions north of Nagorno-Karabakh along the border between the two countries, a claim Armenian military officials denied.

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