YEREVAN, April 20. /TASS/. The Azerbaijani armed forces have violated the ceasefire regime along the contact line of the parties to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh more than 50 times over the past 24 hours, the Armenian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
The operational situation in Nagorno-Karabakh "remained unchanged" last night, the ministry noted. "Along the entire length of the frontline the enemy violated a verbal ceasefire agreement more than 50 times," it said. "It used small arms, large-caliber sniper rifles and 60-mm mortars."
According to the Armenian Defense Ministry, the Azerbaijani army shelled the north-eastern section of Armenia’s state border 9 times last night.
"Overnight on April 20, the Azerbaijani side shelled the state border 9 times using various types of small arms firing indiscriminately at the positions of the Armenian frontier guards," the ministry said.
"Showing restraint, the advanced units of the Armenian armed forces resorted to retaliatory steps only in the worst extremity and are confidently controlling the situation along the border," the Defense Ministry said.
The Armenian armed forces have violated the ceasefire in several directions of the frontline over the past 24 hours using for this, in particular, 82-mm mortars, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
According to it, the Armenian side shelled the Azerbaijani army positions located in populated localities and on the heights along the border between the two counties and in Nagorno-Karabakh. "In accordance with the tactical situation, the Azerbaijani armed forces carried out 114 [retaliatory] fire attacks on enemy positions and trench lines," the ministry said.
The situation along the line of engagement of the conflicting parties in Nagorno-Karabakh deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2. Following fierce armed clashes at the contact line, the parties to the conflict accused each other of violating truce.
On April 5, Russia mediated a meeting between Colonel-General Nadzhmeddin Sadykov, the chief of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces General Staff, and Colonel-General Yuri Khachaturov, the chief of the Armenian Armed Forces General Staff, that took place in Moscow. The two sides agreed to cease the hostilities on the line disengaging the Azerbaijani and Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh. The defense ministries of Azerbaijan and Armenia announced a ceasefire on the contact line as of 12:00 (11:00 Moscow time) the same day. Ever since, the parties occasionally report brief exchanges of fire along the contact line.