Baku, Yerevan accuse each other of violating latest truce
Tiflis/Baku, Oct 18 (efe-epa).- Azerbaijan and Armenia on Sunday accused each other of violating the latest humanitarian ceasefire, hours after it came into effect at midnight.
“The Azerbaijani AF (armed forces) have once again grossly violated the new HUM (humanitarian) ceasefire. At 07: 20 after an active artillery fire, the enemy launched an attack in the S. direction (Khudaferin Reservoir) in order to occupy favorable positions,,” Armenian defense ministry spokesperson Sushan Stepanian tweeted.
“There are casualties and wounded on both sides,” she added.
Meanwhile the defense ministry of Azerbaijan alleged that Armenian forces fired mortars and artillery shells “at the vicinity of the Jabrayil city, as well as the villages of this region liberated from the occupation and located along the Araz River.”
“There are no losses among the military personnel. The Azerbaijan Army Units took adequate retaliatory measures,” the ministry said in a press release.
Baku and Yerevan had simultaneously announced a humanitarian ceasefire on Saturday night after mediation efforts by the countries chairing the Minsk Group for resolving the Nagorno Karabakh conflict (the United States, Russia and France).
Both sides have suffered hundreds of casualties in the weeks-long war, and on Saturday Azeri authorities had said that more than a dozen people were killed and over 40 wounded in an Armenian missile attack on Ganja, the second biggest city in Azerbaijan.
The latest ceasefire agreement is the second between the two sides since hostilities broke out on Sep. 27.
The first truce, agreed upon in Moscow on Oct. 10 through Russia’s mediation, was never enforced as military action continued unabated.
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has its origins in the collapse of the Soviet Union, when in the 1980s the majority Armenian population of the Azeri territory requested it be incorporated into Armenia proper.
The resulting conflict left over 25,000 dead.
The Armenian forces remained in control of the region when fighting ended in 1994. Armenian soldiers also occupied the territory between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan insists the only solution to the conflict is for Nagorno-Karabakh to be brought under its sovereignty, while Armenia has supported the right to self-determination for the region and backs the participation of the separatist leadership in negotiations. EFE-EPA