(Update: adds Azerbaijan death toll)
Moscow/Tbilisi, Sep 13 (EFE).- Intense fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on Monday night left dozens of soldiers dead.
Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinian told his country’s parliament Tuesday morning that 49 Armenian soldiers had been killed in the clashes, accusing Azerbaijan of launching attacks in multiple directions.
“Currently, according to the Defense Ministry, we have 49 people killed, however, this is not the final figure,” he was quoted as saying by Russian official news agency Tass.
The Azerbaijani defense ministry, on the other hand, said the clashes were the result of “provocations” from Armenian forces, which had laid landmines on roads between Baku’s forces along the border between the two countries.
“The retaliatory measures are small-scale and targeted and aimed at ensuring the security of Azerbaijan’s borders and stopping the provocations of Armenia,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
In a separate statement, the ministry said 50 of its armed forces personnel had died in the flare up.
Russia said that it had brokered a ceasefire which took effect at 9am Moscow time on Tuesday morning, adding that it hoped the agreement would be “fully implemented,” although later on Tuesday both sides accused the other of breaking the terms of the truce.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars – in the late 1980s to early 1990s amid the collapse of the Soviet Union, and a six-week war in 2020 – over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but which is populated by ethnic Armenians and governed by the unrecognized, breakaway Republic of Artsakh. EFE