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Four drones detected in Armenia’s airspace, three of them downed — premier

Late on Thursday, Armenia’s Defense Ministry warned that its air defense systems were engaging targets in the republic’s airspace

YEREVAN, October 1. /TASS/. Four drones were detected on Thursday evening in Armenia’s provinces of Kotayk and Gegharkunik, three of them were shot down, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a Facebook post.

"Four of the enemy’s unmanned aerial vehicles were detected in the airspace above the provinces of Kotayk and Gegharkunik. Armenia’s air defense forces downed three of them," he said.

Late on Thursday, Armenia’s Defense Ministry warned that its air defense systems were engaging targets in the republic’s airspace.

"Armenia’s air defense units are working. Don’t worry, air defense systems make some noise when used," ministry spokesman Artsrun Ovannisyan said on his Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Armenian Defense Ministry’s press secretary Shushan Stepanyan said a drone was downed in the city of Abovyan, a few kilometers away from the country’s capital Yerevan.

"An unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down by Armenia’s air defense forces in the Kotayk Province," she said.

In addition, Stepanyan said the armed forces of Azerbaijan shelled the territory of Armenia on Thursday evening, killing one civilian and injuring two.

"The enemy used artillery in the zone of the Shatvan village near the town of Vardenis. Also, a drone fired a projectile at the village of Mets-Masrik. A civilian named Gevorg Vardanyan was killed in the attack. Two more civilians received injuries of varying degrees," she said.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.

The conflict over 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.