Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes: Almost 100 killed along border near Nagorno-Karabakh

World Wednesday 14/September/2022 09:27 AM
By: DW
Armenia-Azerbaijan clashes: Almost 100 killed along border near Nagorno-Karabakh

Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up again on Monday night, with both sides reporting intense artillery shelling and nearly 100 dead.

Just after midnight on Tuesday morning, Azerbaijani forces shelled Armenian troops at several locations along the border. Azerbaijan said it was responding to a buildup of Armenian landmines and weapons near the border. Armenia fired back in retaliation.

The fighting took place near the Nagorno-Karabakh region, an area within Azerbaijan where ethnic Armenian separatists declared a breakaway republic — later known as Artsakh — in 1991.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged Armenia and Azerbaijan "immediate steps to deescalate tensions, exercise maximum restraint and resolve any outstanding issues through dialogue" as per previous agreements, his spokesman said late on Tuesday.
Death toll climbing

At a press briefing early on Tuesday, Armenian defense spokesperson Aram Torosyan said the situation remains "extremely tense" as fighting continues.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan later told parliament that "we have 49 [troops] killed and unfortunately it's not the final figure."

Later on Tuesday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's office released a statement following his meeting with military leadership, saying: "Provocations committed by Armenian forces at the border have been averted and all necessary objectives were fulfilled."

The country's defense ministry then said that at least 50 service members had been killed in the clashes as Russian President Vladimir Putin appealed for calm on both sides.

Both countries claimed to have launched proportionate responses against what they saw as provocations from the other side.

"At 00:05 a.m. [local time] on Tuesday, Azerbaijan launched intensive shelling, with artillery and large-caliber firearms, against Armenian military positions in the direction of the cities of Goris, Sotk, and Jermuk," Armenia's Defense Ministry said.

However, Azerbaijan accused Armenian forces of carrying out "large-scale subversive acts" earlier on Monday night near the border districts of Dashkesan, Kelbajar and Lachin by placing landmines and mobilizing weapons.

"The countermeasures taken by the Azerbaijani military in response to the provocation by the Armenian military are local and directed against legitimate military objects that serve as firing points," Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry added.

Armenian forces said they subsequently launched a "proportionate" response. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said its troops came under "intense shelling from weapons of various caliber, including mortars, by units of the Armenian army."