(YEREVAN, Armenia) — Combating erupted anew Sunday between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed separatist area of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia mentioned a girl and a baby have been killed within the space by shelling from Azerbaijani forces and Azerbaijan’s president mentioned his army has suffered losses.
Armenia additionally claimed that two Azerbaijani helicopters have been shot down and three Azerbaijani tanks have been hit by artillery, however Azerbaijan’s protection ministry rejected that declare.
Heavy preventing broke out within the morning within the area that lies inside Azerbaijan however has been beneath the management of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since 1994 on the finish of a separatist warfare. It was not instantly clear what sparked the preventing, the heaviest since clashes in July killed 16 folks from each side.
Nagorno-Karabakh authorities reported that shelling hit the area’s capital of Stepanakert and the cities of Martakert and Martuni. Armenian Protection Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan additionally mentioned Azerbaijani shelling hit inside Armenian territory close to the city of Vardenis.
Armenian human rights ombudsman Arman Tatoyan mentioned a girl and a baby have been killed and two civilians wounded within the Martuni area.
One other Armenian Protection Ministry spokesperson, Shushan Stepanyan, mentioned “the Armenian aspect” shot down two helicopters and hit three tanks.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev mentioned in a televised deal with to the nation that “there are losses among the many Azerbaijani forces and the civilian inhabitants on account of the Armenian bombardment” however didn’t give additional particulars.
He additionally claimed that “many models of the enemy’s army tools have been destroyed.”
Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov Lavrov “is conducting intensive contacts in an effort to induce the events to stop fireplace and begin negotiations to stabilize the scenario,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned.
The information was harshly acquired in Turkey, an in depth ally of Azerbaijan.
Turkey’s ruling get together spokesman Omer Celik tweeted: “We vehemently condemn Armenia’s assault on Azerbaijan. Armenia has as soon as towards dedicated a provocation, ignoring legislation.” He promised Turkey would stand by Azerbaijan and mentioned, “Armenia is taking part in with fireplace and endangering regional peace.”
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin additionally took to Twitter to sentence Armenia. “Armenia has violated the ceasefire by attacking civilian settlements … the worldwide neighborhood should instantly say cease to this harmful provocation.”
Principally mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh — a area some 4,400 sq. kilometers (1,700 sq. miles) or concerning the dimension of the U.S. state of Delaware — lies 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Armenian border. Native troopers backed by Armenia additionally occupy some Azerbaijani territory exterior the area.
On the Vatican, Pope Francis mentioned Sunday thathe was praying for peace between the 2 nations, urging them to them to “accomplish concrete deeds of goodwill and fraternity” to achieve a peaceable answer by means of dialogue.
Jim Heintz in Moscow, Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul and Giada Zampano in Rome contributed to this story.