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BAKU, April 12. /TASS/. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry on Tuesay accused the Armenia of ceacefire violations, saying armed units "100 times violated the ceasefire regime over the past 24 hours in different parts of the front (in Nagorno-Karabakh area) using 60-mm and 82-mm mortars and heavy machine guns."
According to the ministry, the Armenian side fired on positions of the Azerbaijani Army located on the border between the two countries and in Karabakh.
"In line with the operational situation, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces carried out 101 fire attacks on the enemy positions and trench lines," the statement says.
On April 5, Azerbaijan’s Chief of Staff Colonel General Nadjmeddin Sadykov and his Armenian counterpart Colonel General Yuri Khachaturov held a meeting in Moscow with Russia’s mediation. At the talks the sides reached an agreement on the 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 (11:00am, Moscow time).
The highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh (Mountainous Karabakh) is a mostly Armenian-populated enclave inside the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. It was the first zone of inter-ethnic tensions and violence to appear on the map of the former USSR. Even almost a quarter of a century after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Karabakh remains a so-called 'frozen conflict' on the post-Soviet space, as the region is the subject of a dispute between Azerbaijan and the local Armenian population that draws on strong support from fellow-countrymen in neighboring Armenia.
In 1988, hostilities broke out there between the forces reporting to the government in Baku and Armenian residents, which resulted in the region's de facto independence. In 1994 a ceasefire was reached but the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia remain strained ever since then.
Russia, France and the US co-chair the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which attempts to broker an end to hostilities and the conflict.