BAKU, September 29. /TASS/. Ten Azerbaijani civilians have been killed in the Armenian military’s shelling since fighting began in the Nagorno-Karabakh region two days ago, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said, receiving credentials from Pakistan’s new ambassador to Baku Bilal Hayee on Tuesday.
"We suffered casualties in the past two days, including civilian casualties. Unfortunately, civilian casualties are growing. Ten civilians have been killed, including five members of the same family, with two children among them," Aliev noted.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry and the Prosecutor General’s Office, in turn, said in a joint statement that 30 civilians had suffered wounds since September 27.
On September 27, Baku said that Armenia had shelled the Azerbaijani army’s positions and Yerevan, in turn, claimed that Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces had launched an offensive on Nagorno-Karabakh, shelling regional settlements, including the capital, Stepanakert. Both parties reported casualties, including among civilians. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law and announced a military mobilization.
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.