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Azerbaijani forces claim destruction of Armenian air missile system in Karabakh

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry also reported numerous Armenian casualties over three days of combat

BAKU, September 30. /TASS/. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry reported on Wednesday that the country’s armed forces have managed to deactivate an Armenian S-300 surface-to-air missile system during armed clashes in the zone of the Karabakh conflict.

"During combat yesterday in the territory of the Shushakend settlement of the Khojaly (Martuni) district an S-300 anti-aircraft missile system belonging to the enemy was destroyed," the ministry’s statement said.

According to the agency, "in order to regain lost positions the Armenian side concentrated additional forces in the direction of Matagiz and in the morning of September 30 attempted to attack." "This enemy activity is being intercepted, the Azerbaijani troops are counterattacking in order to neutralize the opponent," the statement said. "Intense combat continues," the ministry noted. It also reported numerous Armenian casualties over three days of combat - since September 27 into Wednesday morning.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday warned that the country’s armed forces will destroy the Armenian S-300 air defense missile systems (ADMS) if they appear in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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, the authorities 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.