Baku: Azerbaijan’s second-largest metropolis, Ganja, has been shelled by Armenian forces, as heavy clashes proceed over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.
The enclave is formally a part of Azerbaijan however run by ethnic Armenians.
The self-proclaimed authorities there mentioned they hit Ganja’s army airport after Azerbaijani forces shelled the area’s capital, Stepanakert, the BBC reported.
Azerbaijan mentioned no Ganja army websites had been hit. Greater than 220 folks have died since clashes started per week in the past.
Armenia and Azerbaijan went to warfare over Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988-94, ultimately declaring a ceasefire. Nonetheless, they’ve by no means reached a settlement over the dispute.
The present preventing is the worst seen because the ceasefire and the 2 former Soviet republics have been blaming one another.
There are fears that the precise dying toll among the many militaries from all sides in addition to civilians may very well be a lot increased, as casualty claims haven’t been independently verified.
Azerbaijan’s army mentioned its forces have retaken management of seven villages since final Sunday, whereas Nagorno-Karabakh says its troops have “improved” their frontline positions.
Earlier this week, Armenia mentioned it stood “ready to engage” with mediators from France, Russia and the US to attempt to agree a ceasefire.
Azerbaijan, which is overtly backed by Turkey, has demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno-Karabakh and adjoining areas seized by ethnic Armenian troops.
“Nagorno-Karabakh is our land,” Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev mentioned in a televised deal with to the nation on Sunday, as he demanded Armenia apologise to his nation and supply a timetable for his or her withdrawal.
“This is the end. We showed them who we are. We are chasing them like dogs.”
In a short assertion on Sunday, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry mentioned Armenian forces had been shelling Ganja, a western Azerbaijani metropolis mendacity to the north of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Defence Minister Zakary Hasanov mentioned this was a “clearly provocative” transfer that was increasing the battle.
One civilian was killed, native media reported.
In a later assertion, the defence ministry mentioned: “The knowledge unfold by the Armenian facet concerning the alleged shelling of army amenities in Ganja metropolis is provocative and false.
“Because of enemy fireplace, civilians, civilian infrastructure and historic historic buildings had been harmed.”
In the meantime, Nagorno-Karabakh’s authorities mentioned that that they had destroyed Ganja’s army airport.
They mentioned that they had acted after Stepanakert was hit by missiles and alleged the Ganja facility had been utilized by Azerbaijani forces to launch assaults on civilian areas.
Heavy casualties had been reported in Stepanakert, which was left with out electrical energy, in accordance with Armenpress information company. Buses of individuals had been seen leaving town on Saturday.
Armenpress quoted the separatist area’s chief, Arayik Harutyunyan, as warning that “from now on the military facilities permanently deployed in Azerbaijan’s major cities are legitimate targets of the defence army”.
Harutyunyan added that he had now ordered the shelling stopped, “to prevent the deaths of innocent peaceful civilians”.
Turkey condemned the shelling of Ganja, accusing Armenia of “targeting civilians”.
However Armenian defence ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan mentioned that “that no fire of any kind is being opened from the territory of Armenia in Azerbaijan’s direction”.
Armenia offers army and financial assist to Nagorno-Karabakh with out formally recognising the self-proclaimed area.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s authorities have confirmed that 201 of their service personnel and various civilians have died because the preventing erupted on 27 September.
Azerbaijan mentioned 22 civilians have been killed, with out offering details about its army casualties.
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