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Situation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border relatively calm — Armenian defense ministry

Armenia lost four servicemen killed and five injured since July 12

YEREVAN, July 14. /TSS/. The situation in the northeastern section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border has been relatively calm since 18:00 local time (17:00 Moscow time), Armenian Defense Ministry Spokesman Artsrun Ovannisyan said on Tuesday.

"The situation in the northeastern section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border has been relatively calm since 18:00. At least, only sporadic shooting is reported. Heavy guns are not used," he said.

According to the spokesman, the Armenian armed forces have destroyed about ten Azerbaijani drones since hostilities broke out in the border area on July 12.

"The exact number of downed drones will be made public tomorrow. At present, I can say that about ten drones of the adversary have already been destroyed, including a very expensive Elbit Hermes 900," Ovannisyan said.

He also said that Azerbaijan’s armed forces have chosen Armenian towns and villages as target for their shelling, including with the use of howitzers and Grad multiple rocket launchers. No casualties among civilians have been reported so far.

According to Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Nagdalyan, the country lost four servicemen killed and five injured since July 12. 

"From the Armenian side, four servicemen have been killed and five injured, including two police officers. No casualties among civilians have been reported so far, although the Azerbaijani side is deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure and population," she said.

Meanwhile, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan meet with the country’s supreme military command on Tuesday to discuss the current situation on the border with Azerbaijian, the governmental press service said.

"The supreme command of the armed forces briefed the premier on the situation that has been developing in the past two days as a result of the opponent’s military actions in the Tavush sector of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, and on the measures that the Armenian armed forces are taking to contain the opponent’s actions," the Armenian government’s press service said in a statement.

The participants of the meeting stressed that the situation is under full control of the Armenian armed forces.

"Various scenarios of the situation’s development and the military’s adequate responses to them were discussed in the course of the meeting," the document says.

Armenian-Azerbaijani border tensions

The situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border escalated on July 12, when Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said that Armenian army units had tried to attack Azerbaijan’s positions at the Tovuz section of the border with use of artillery systems. According to the ministry, the situation is still tense, with clashes continuing. It reported the death of eleven Azerbaijani soldiers.

Armenia’s defense ministry said, in turn, that the border situation had aggravated after Azerbaijan’s attempted attack. The Armenian defense ministry said that two Armenian policemen and three soldiers had received minor wounds in shelling by the Azerbaijani side.

The situation was in focus of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s telephone talks with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts, Zograb Mnatsakanyan and Elamr Mamedyarov. The Russian top diplomat called on the parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and demonstrate restraint.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has also urged Armenia and Azerbaijan to stop hostilities and begin de-escalation of the conflict.

The conflict between neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians, broke out in the early 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijani Soviet Republic.

In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.

Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been held since 1992 in the format of the so-called OSCE Minsk Group, comprising along with its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States - Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland and Turkey.