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16 Karabakh defense army soldiers killed - defense ministry

More than 100 wounded in clashes with Azerbaijani troops

YEREVAN, September 27. /TASS/. The defense army of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic has reported 16 killed and more than 100 wounded in clashes with Azerbaijani troops, Armenian Defense Ministry Spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan said on Sunday.

"Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh republic) Deputy Defense Minister Artur Sarkisyan says that the Armenian side, according to preliminary data, l.ost 16 soldiers. More than a hundred were wounded," she wrote on her Facebook account.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, when Azerbaijan said its positions had come under extensive fire from Armenia. Armenia, in turn, said the Azerbaijani army had staged ab offensive in the direction of Nagorno-Karabakh. It said a number of settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh, including its administrative center Stepanakert, had come under shelling by Azerbaijan. Both sides report casualties, including among civilians. Armenia’s authorities have imposed martial law and announced mobilization of reservists.

The conflict between 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 primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.