New tensions explode over Karabakh, three troopers killed

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An Armenian soldier walks as troops hold positions on the front line during the ongoing fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. — AFP/File
An Armenian soldier walks as troops maintain positions on the entrance line in the course of the ongoing preventing between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the breakaway area of Nagorno-Karabakh. — AFP/File

BAKU: New tensions erupted over Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday as three troopers have been killed and Azerbaijan mentioned it had taken management of a number of strategic heights within the disputed area.

The escalation drew speedy worldwide response, with Russia accusing Baku of violating the brittle ceasefire and the European Union urging an “speedy cessation of hostilities”.

Arch enemies Armenia and Azerbaijan fought two wars — in 2020 and within the Nineties  — over Azerbaijan’s Armenian-populated area of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia ceded swathes of territory it had managed for many years, and Russia deployed some 2,000 peacekeepers to supervise the delicate truce, however tensions persist regardless of a ceasefire settlement.

On Wednesday, new tensions erupted as Azerbaijan mentioned it had misplaced a soldier and the Karabakh military mentioned two of its troops had been killed and greater than a dozen injured.

The Azerbaijani defence ministry mentioned Karabakh troops focused its military positions within the district of Lachin, which is below the supervision of the Russian peacekeeping power, killing an Azerbaijani conscript.

The Azerbaijani military later mentioned it performed an operation dubbed “Revenge” in response and took management of a number of strategic heights in Karabakh.

The military of the breakaway statelet for its half accused Azerbaijan of violating a ceasefire and killing two troopers and wounding one other 14.

Karabakh declared a “partial mobilisation”, the military mentioned in a press release.

Armenia referred to as on the worldwide neighborhood to assist cease Azerbaijan’s “aggressive actions” after the flare-up.

“Azerbaijan continues its coverage of terror in opposition to the inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh,” the international ministry mentioned.

Armenia accused Azerbaijan of searching for to make unilateral modifications over the Lachin hall that hyperlinks Armenia and Karabakh.

Russia accused Azerbaijan of breaking the ceasefire and vowed to stabilise the scenario.

“The ceasefire regime was violated by the armed forces of Azerbaijan across the Saribaba peak,” the Russian defence ministry mentioned in a press release.

“The command of the Russian peacekeeping power, with representatives of Azerbaijan and Armenia, are taking measures to stabilise the scenario.”

‘Important to de-escalate’

The escalation got here after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday.

The European Union referred to as for an “speedy cessation of hostilities” between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in Karabakh.

“It’s important to de-escalate, totally respect the ceasefire and return to the negotiating desk to hunt negotiated options,” EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell’s spokesman mentioned in a press release.

“The European Union stays dedicated to assist overcome tensions and proceed its engagement in direction of sustainable peace and stability within the South Caucasus,” Borrell’s spokesman added.

Following Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine on February 24, an more and more remoted Moscow misplaced its standing as the first mediator within the Karabakh battle.

Six weeks of preventing within the autumn of 2020 claimed greater than 6,500 lives and ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire settlement.

In July, Azerbaijan started the method of returning its folks to land recaptured from Armenian separatists in what Baku calls “The Nice Return”.

The oil-rich nation has vowed to repopulate lands recaptured within the six-week battle with Armenia.

President Ilham Aliyev had for years promised to retake lands misplaced within the Nineties and the primary returns marked a symbolic second for Azerbaijan.

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