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Azerbaijani forces shell Armenian positions 17 times — Armenian defense ministry

April 11, 9:29 UTC+3 YEREVAN
According to the ministry, "when shelling the positions of Armenian Armed Forces, [Azerbaijani forces] used small, including large caliber, and mortar arms"
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© Vahan Stepanyan, PAN Photo via AP

YEREVAN, April 11. /TASS/. Azerbaijani forces shelled Armenian positions on the north-eastern part of the border 17 times last night and in the morning, the Armenian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"When shelling the positions of Armenian Armed Forces, [Azerbaijani forces] used small, including large caliber, and mortar arms. Shellings were mostly chaotic," the defense ministry said.

Azerbaijan will be able to continue search for bodies on contact line

According to the ministry, Azerbaijan will be given an opportunity to continue search for bodies at the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh where clashes erupted at the start of April.

"In accordance with the agreement between the sides, today the Azerbaijani side will receive an opportunity to continue search for bodies of servicemen," the defense ministry said. "Relevant requests were made (to Azerbaijan) with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)" because "the fate of one of servicemen of the Nagorno-Karabakh self-defense forces remains unknown," the ministry noted.

"The situation on the contact line between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan remained unchanged" last night, the defense ministry added.

On Saturday, April 2, the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh rapidly deteriorated when the parties to the Karabakh conflict accused each other of violating truce along the front line. The claims came from defense authorities of Armenia and of Azerbaijan.

On April 5 Azerbaijan’s Chief of Staff Col. Gen. Nadjmeddin Sadykov and his Armenian counterpart Col. Gen. Yury Khachaturov in Moscow with Russia’s mediation. At the talks the sides reached an agreement on cessation of hostilities at the contact line between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces. On the same day, the defense ministries of the two countries announced that the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh would start at 12am local time.

Neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan fell out with each other in the late 1980s because of Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians.

In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories. Thousands left their homes on both sides in a conflict that killed 30,000. A truce was called between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh republic on one side and Azerbaijan on the other in May 1994.

Talks on Nagorno-Karabakh have been held on the basis of the so-called Madrid Principles suggested by co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) - Russia, France and the United States - in December 2007 in the Spanish capital. They include three key principles written in the Helsinki Final Act: refraining from the threat or use of force, territorial integrity and the right to self-determination.

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