Border clashes erupt between Armenia, Azerbaijan
Brussels, Sep 13: Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up again on Monday night, with both sides reporting intense artillery shelling.
The fighting took place in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, an area within Azerbaijan where ethnic Armenian separatists declared a breakaway republic — later known as Artsakh — in 1991.
At a press briefing early on Tuesday, Armenian defense spokesperson Aram Torosyan said the situation remains "extremely tense" as fighting continues.
Armenia, Azerbaijan trade blame for 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] on Tuesday, Azerbaijan launched intensive shelling, with artillery and large-caliber firearms, against Armenian military positions in the direction of the cities of Goris, Sotk, and Jermuk," Armenia's defense ministry said.
However, Azerbaijan accused Armenian forces of carrying out "large-scale subversive acts" earlier on Monday night near the border districts of Dashkesan, Kelbajar and Lachin by placing landmines and mobilizing weapons.
"The countermeasures taken by the Azerbaijani military in response to the provocation by the Armenian military are local and directed against legitimate military objects that serve as firing points," Azerbaijan's defense ministry added.
Armenian forces said they subsequently launched a "proportionate" response. The Azerbaijani defense ministry said its troops came under "intense shelling from weapons of various caliber, including mortars, by units of the Armenian army."
Both sides acknowledged troop casualties but did not confirm numbers.
Long-running feud over Nagorno-Karabakh
The ethnically Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh was the site of two wars between Azerbaijan and Armenia in recent decades.
The territory was controlled by Armenian separatists for almost 30 years until Azerbaijan regained control of most of the territory after a six-week war in 2020 and a ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia.
Last week, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of killing one of its soldiers in a border shootout, while Azerbaijan has also accused Armenia of firing at its troops in recent months.