Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Tensions mount as Armenia and Azerbaijan continue fighting


LONDON: Armenian and Azerbaijani forces accused each other of attacks on their territory on Tuesday, as fighting over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh continued for a third straight day following the resumption of violence in the decades-old conflict.

The renewed fighting prompted calls from around the world for a ceasefire, before hostilities escalate.

Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry said Armenian forces shelled the Dashkesan region in Azerbaijan. Armenian officials said Azerbaijani forces opened fire on a military unit in the Armenian town of Vardenis, setting a bus on fire and killing one civilian.

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry denied shelling the Dashkesan region and said the reports were laying the groundwork for Azerbaijan “expanding the geography of hostilities, including the aggression against the Republic of Armenia.”

Dozens were killed and wounded since fighting broke out on Sunday. The Nagorno-Karabakh Defence Ministry reported 84 servicemen killed. Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said on Tuesday that 10 civilians were killed on its side, but he didn’t detail the country’s military casualties.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by the Armenian government since 1994 at the end of a separatist war following the breakup of the Soviet Union three years earlier.

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