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Azerbaijan and Armenia accuse each other of ceasefire violation

May 06, 2016, 9:56 UTC+3 BAKU

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh dramatically deteriorated on April 2, when the Karabakh conflict sides accused each other of violating truce along the front line

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© Vahram Baghdasaryan, PHOTOLURE via AP

BAKU, May 6. /TASS/. The Armenian armed forces over the past 24 hours "have 112 times violated the ceasefire regime at various sectors of the front, using, among others, heavy machine guns and 60-mm mortars," the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

According to the ministry, the Azerbaijani army positions located in the villages and on the heights along the border between the two countries and in the areas adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh came under fire from the other side. "In accordance with the operational situation, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces carried out 117 fire attacks on the enemy positions and trench lines", the ministry reported.

Azerbaijan’s forces violated the agreement on truce on the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh overnight, Armenia’s Defense Ministry said on Friday.

"Overnight to May 6 the operative situation on the line of contact between the warring forces of Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh remained the same," the ministry said.

Azerbaijan continued breaking the agreement on ceasefire using small arms of different caliber, and mortars with caliber of 82 mm and RPG-7 grenade launchers in some directions, it said.

Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh on the contact line of the conflict sides dramatically deteriorated on April 2, when the Karabakh conflict sides 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. Yuri Khachaturov met in Moscow with Russia’s mediation. At the talks the sides reached an agreement on cessation of hostilities at the contact line between the 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 12 am, local time (11:00 am, Moscow time). Since then, the sides have reported periodic short shootouts in the area of ··the contact line.

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 United States co-chair the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which attempts to broker an end to hostilities and the conflict.

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