ARMENIA. Armenian and Azerbaijani forces fought over the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday. Around 16 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded during the fight.
Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev claimed that his military has suffered losses due to the clashes.
Meanwhile, Armenia claimed that two Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down and three military tanks were hit by the Armenian artillery. However, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry has rejected the claim.
The disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh
Heavy fighting broke out in the morning on Sunday. The fight began in the region that lies within Azerbaijan but is under the control of Armenian forces since 1994. However, the reason for the fight is still unknown
Nagorno-Karabakh is a region of around 4,400 square kilometres (1,700 miles) and lies 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the Armenian border. The entire region of Nagorno-Karabakh is mostly mountainous.
Nagorno-Karabakh authorities reported that the Armenian shelling hit the towns of Martakert and Martuni on Sunday. On the other hand, the Armenian Defense Ministry claimed that the Azerbaijani shelling hit the town of Vardenis.
Earlier, the Armenian human rights ombudsman had said that a woman and child were killed in the shelling.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has ordered to impose martial law in some regions of the country. While addressing the nation he said, “There are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment.”
World’s reaction to the clashes
Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama asked the two sides to stop fighting and negotiate in a recent statement. Edi Rama is also the chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The long- unsuccessful negotiations for resolving the dispute has been conducted under OSCE’s guidance.
A spokesperson from the Foreign Ministry of Russia reported that the country is conducting intensive contacts to induce the two countries to hold a ceasefire and start negotiations.
Pope Francis of the Vatican City also said that he was praying for peace between the two countries in an open statement. He also urged them to reach a peaceful solution through dialogue. Meanwhile, Turkey has deployed Syrian fighters in Azerbaijan to fight Armenia.