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Baku says 12 Azerbaijani civilians killed since hostilities broke out in Karabakh

66 houses and eight civilian facilities have been damaged

BAKU, September 29. /TASS/. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan said 12 civilians have been killed and 35 injured in Armenian shelling attacks since the latest round of hostilities broke out in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone this weekend.

"To date, as a result of shelling attacks, carried out by Armenian forces with the use of heavy weaponry and targeting densely populated civilian areas, 12 civilians have been killed and 35 injured," the agency said in a statement.

According to Azerbaijani prosecutors, 66 houses and eight civilian facilities have been damaged.

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 an 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. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have imposed martial law and announced 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.