Five soldiers killed in Nagorny-Karabakh clash

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Five soldiers killed in Nagorny-Karabakh clash NewsLineToday    Gallery Enlarge Image

Manju Shukla
Date  03/08/2014

At least five soldiers have been killed in fresh clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed Nagorny-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday that its troopers tried to repel an overnight attack by ethnic Armenian forces, adding that four soldiers were killed in the clash.

One Armenian soldier was also killed, authorities in Nagorny-Karabakh said.

Baku had said on Friday that eight Azeri soldiers had been killed in three days of fighting in the area.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a conflict over the disputed territory with occasional clashes along the ceasefire line. Nagorno-Karabakh is largely populated by Armenians but located in Azerbaijan.

Ethnic Armenian forces took control of the enclave, which accounts for 16 percent of Azerbaijan, in the early 1990s during a six-year war that lasted from February 1988 to May 1994.

The conflict left an estimated 30,000 people dead and one million others displaced before the two sides agreed to a ceasefire in 1994. However, a peace accord has never been signed and the dispute still remains unsettled.

Later on Saturday, Armenia said President Serzh Sarkisian will discuss the crisis with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in a meeting in the Russian city of Sochi next week.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the recent fighting, which it called a “serious violation of a ceasefire agreement.”

On Friday, the US called on the leaders of the two countries to hold talks. “Retaliation and further violence will only make it more difficult to bring about a peaceful settlement,” deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

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