Death toll reaches 600 in conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan

A woman sits in ruins of her house in Terter, Azerbaijan (Aziz Karimov/AP)

The reported death toll in clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh was around 600.

Nagorno-Karabakh military officials said that 16 more of their servicemen had been killed in combat on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths among military personnel to 532 since the beginning of the fighting on September 27.

Azerbaijan has not revealed its military losses, and the overall toll is likely to be much higher, with both sides regularly claiming that they have inflicted significant military losses on each other.

Azerbaijani authorities have said that 42 civilians have been killed on their side in more than two weeks. Nagorno-Karabakh human rights ombudsman Artak Beglaryan reported at least 31 civilian deaths in the breakaway region late Monday. Hundreds more were injured.

The recent fighting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani forces broke out on 27 September. More than two weeks of deadly clashes have marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies in Azerbaijan but which has been under the control of Armenian ethnic forces backed by Armenia since the end of the separatist war in 1994.

Both sides have repeatedly accused each other of attacks in the midst of appeals from around the globe to end hostilities and start peace talks.

Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers signed a ceasefire agreement last week. The truce that came into effect on Saturday was brokered by Russia, which has a security pact with Armenia. But Moscow has also cultivated warm ties with Azerbaijan and is seeking to mediate the conflict.

However, the truce was immediately challenged and both Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of continuing attacks in violation of the agreement.

On Tuesday, Azerbaijani officials again accused Armenian forces of shelling some of its regions, and Nagorno-Karabakh officials said Azerbaijan had launched "large-scale military operations" along the front line.

Russia and the European Union have urged both sides to respect the ceasefire.


Publish : 2020-10-13 16:28:00

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