Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Mashujaa day: Kenyatta and Odinga call for peace before election rerun

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The new 30s club: NZ's Jacinda Ardern joins list of maverick leaders

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Raqqa, Kirkuk, Xi Jinping

Read more

REPORTERS

The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

Read more

#TECH 24

Teaching maths with holograms

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is China exporting its pollution?

Read more

#THE 51%

Are female empowerment adverts actually good for the cause?

Read more

FOCUS

The mixed legacy of 'Abenomics' in Japan

Read more

Europe

Azerbaijan calls unilateral truce in Nagorno-Karabakh

© Karen Minasyan, AFP | This file photo taken on November 14, 2014 shows Armenian and Karabakh armed forces holding joint military exercises near the town of Tigranakert in the unrecognised Republic of Karabakh

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2016-04-03

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry announced a unilateral cease-fire Sunday against the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a claim that rebel forces there promptly rejected.

Fighting in what was a dormant conflict for two decades flared up over the weekend with a boy and at least 30 troops killed on both sides. Each side blamed the other for Saturday's escalation, the worst since the end of a full-scale war in 1994.

The defense ministry said, in response to pleas from international organizations, it will be unilaterally "suspending a counter-offensive and response on the territories occupied by Armenia." The ministry added it will not focus on fortifying the territory that Azerbaijan has "liberated." It did not elaborate.

Nagorno-Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan, has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military since a war ended in 1994 with no resolution of the region's status. The conflict is fueled by long-simmering tensions between Christian Armenians and mostly Muslim Azeris.

Armenian forces also occupy several areas outside Nagorno-Karabakh proper. The sides are separated by a demilitarized buffer zone, but small clashes have broken out frequently.

Officials in the self-proclaimed republic of Nagorno-Karabakh promptly disputed the reports of Azerbaijan's unilateral cease-fire. David Babayan, spokesman for the Karabakh president, told The Associated Press on Sunday that they had not seen any signs that fighting was suspended.

The defense ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday also claimed to have restored control over a strategic area near the front line. It said Nagorno-Karabakh forces went on a counter-offensive around the village of Talish after Azerbaijani forces shelled their positions just before dawn. Two Karabakh troops were reported injured.

It also said Azerbaijan was using rockets, artillery and armor against the region.

Earlier Sunday, a spokesman for Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, Vagif Dargyakhly, said Azerbaijani positions came under fire overnight and that civilian areas also were hit.

On Saturday, Armenia said 18 soldiers were killed and Azerbaijan reported 12 dead.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Sunday to back its ally Azerbaijan in the conflict, saying that the flare-up could have been avoided if "fair and decisive steps" had been taken.

"We pray our Azerbaijani brothers will prevail in these clashes with the least casualties," he said.

The unresolved conflict has been an economic blow to Armenia because Turkey has closed its border with Armenia.

(AP)

Date created : 2016-04-03

  • AZERBAIJAN

    Deadly clashes erupt in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region

    Read more

  • AZERBAIJAN

    Azerbaijan president cements power in disputed election

    Read more

  • ARMENIA - AZERBAIJAN

    Sarkozy calls for 'peace' between feuding nations

    Read more

COMMENT(S)