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Yerevan refutes Baku’s claims of military base destruction in Karabakh

YEREVAN, September 29. /TASS/. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry’s claims that a military base has been destroyed in Nagorno-Karabakh are baseless, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, spokesman of the Armenian Defense Ministry told journalists on Tuesday.

"The claims of destruction of an Armenian military base in the town of Martuni do not correspond to reality. This did not and could not have happened," he stressed.

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 in the direction of Nagorno-Karabakh, shelling the populated localities, including the capital, Stepanakert. Both parties reported casualties, including among civilians. The Armenian authorities declared martial law and announced a mobilization. Azerbaijan also declared martial law across its entire territory and announced partial 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.