7 Azerbaijani soldiers killed in clashes with Armenia

  |  Wednesday, November 17th, 2021 |  2:03 pm

Seven Azerbaijani troops have been killed in border clashes with Armenia near the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, officials in Baku said on Wednesday.

“Seven servicemen died and 10 more were wounded in the clashes provoked Tuesday by Armenia,” Baku’s defence ministry said. Armenia reported one dead, 13 captured, and 24 missing troops.

On Tuesday, Armenia and Azerbaijan reached a Russia-brokered ceasefire, ending hostilities that erupted earlier in the day along their border, the defence ministry in Yerevan said.

The clashes that Armenia said left one of its soldiers dead and a dozen others captured sparked fears of another flare-up a year after the Caucasus arch-foes fought a war over the disputed mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The six-week conflict, which left more than 6,500 dead, ended a year ago in November in a Russia-brokered deal that saw Armenia cede swathes of territory it had controlled for decades.

“Under the mediation of the Russian side, an agreement was reached to cease fire at Armenia’s eastern border from 18:30 (1430 GMT). The situation has relatively stabilised,” the Armenian defence ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ministry said at least one of its soldier died in the clashes and that Armenia had “lost control of two military positions.”

It also reported that 12 Armenian servicemen were captured by the Azerbaijani military.

The two sides accused each other of initiating fighting along their shared border.

“Armenian troops attacked Azerbaijani positions in the districts of Kelbajar and Lachin,” Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said in a statement, adding that two Azerbaijani troops were wounded.

The ministry said Azerbaijani troops “stopped the enemy’s advance, surrounded and detained Armenian servicemen.”

Armenia’s defence ministry said Azerbaijani forces tried to “break through” the border before being repelled.

In a security council meeting, Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan of “an aggression on Armenia’s sovereign territory.”

“Azerbaijan and the forces that support it are targeting Armenia’s statehood, sovereignty, and independence,” he said, alluding to Turkey, which has backed Baku during the Karabakh war.