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Azerbaijan Accuses Armenia Of Violating Ceasefire

Baku:  Azerbaijan on Sunday accused Armenia of violating a ceasefire in the conflict-ridden Nagorno-Karabakh region, by attacking its second largest city of Ganja and inflicting civilian casualties.

In a report citing the country’s emergency authority as saying, Azerbaijan’s state-run news agency AZERTAC said that shells from the Armenian side fell on residential buildings in Ganja city, which killed five civilians and injured 17 others.

Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry also confirmed the attack on its official website, reports Xinhua news agency.

However, the Armenian Defence Ministry’s spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan denied the report, saying that it was false information.

The development came a day after a ceasefire came into force in the region on Saturday after trilateral negotiations between Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The trilateral talks which lasted for more than 10 hours, took place in Moscow between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts Jeyhun Bayramov and Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, respectively.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but mostly governed by the Republic of Artsakh, a de facto independent state with an Armenian ethnic majority.

The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, April 2016 and this July, TASS News Agency reported.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts.

In the latest conflict, Nagorno-Karabakh authorities have confirmed that 201 of their personnel and a number of civilians have died.

Azerbaijan has said that 22 civilians were killed, but did not provide information about military casualties.

Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over the region in 1988-94, eventually declaring a ceasefire. However, a settlement was never reached.

The current fighting is the worst seen since the ceasefire and the two former Soviet republics have been blaming each other.

(IANS)

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