Armenia, Azerbaijan accuse each other of violating short-lived ceasefire
Armenian and Azerbaijani officials accused one another of violating a humanitarian ceasefire just hours after agreeing to it.
The two nations agreed to the truce Saturday and it took effect at midnight, but Azerbaijan said Armenian forces had opened fire on the Aghdam region of the country overnight. Armenia has denied the accusation, Reuters reported.
Armenia, meanwhile, accused Azerbaijan of firing twice overnight and denying a request to withdraw Armenian request to withdraw wounded troops.
“The enemy fired at the vicinity of the Jabrail city [in Azerbaijan], as well as the villages of this region … using mortars and artillery,” Azerbaijani officials said in a statement.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday that he had communicated with his counterparts in both nations and called on them to abide by the terms of the ceasefire. American, Russian and French diplomats have also worked to de-escalate the conflict. All three nations belong to the Minsk Group, which the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe created in the 1990s to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Earlier this month, Russia brokered a ceasefire, but fighting continued in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is part of Azerbaijan but de facto independently governed by ethnic Armenians. The territory has been disputed for decades, with the conflict escalating to all-out war before in the early 1990s.
At least 750 people have been killed in the new conflict, which began in late September.