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World Nagorno-Karabakh fighting rages as US hosts talks

18:01  23 october  2020
18:01  23 october  2020 Source:   ap.org

Twenty French deputies demand recognition of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh

 Twenty French deputies demand recognition of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh © ETIENNE LAURENT / EPA / MAXPPP Demonstrators in favor of the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh, October 11, 2020 in Los Angeles. About twenty elected members of the National Assembly want France to recognize "full sovereignty" of Nagorno-Karabakh, against "Azerbaijani aggression". Twenty deputies demanded Thursday, October 15, for France to recognize without delay the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh republic, in the grip of armed clashes between Azerbaijan and the Armenian independence forces.

STEPANAKERT, Nagorno-Karabakh (AP) — Heavy fighting raged Friday over Nagorno-Karabakh even as top diplomats from Armenia and Azerbaijan traveled to Washington for negotiations on settling the neighboring countries' decades-long conflict.

A medical worker talks to a sick woman in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press A medical worker talks to a sick woman in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's scheduled talks with Armenia and Azerbaijan's foreign ministers follow two failed Russian attempts to broker a cease-fire in the worst outbreak of hostilities over the region for more than a quarter-century.

Missile strikes hit Azerbaijan cities after shelling of Armenia separatist capital

  Missile strikes hit Azerbaijan cities after shelling of Armenia separatist capital A missile strike levelled a row of homes in Azerbaijan's second city of Ganja Saturday, killing and badly injuring people in their sleep in a sharp escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict re-erupted on September 27 in hotly disputed circumstances and has so far killed more than 700 people, including nearly 80 civilians. The mountainous western region of Azerbaijan has remained under separatist ethnic Armenian control since a 1994 ceasefire ended a brutal war that killed 30,000.

People take refuge in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press People take refuge in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo)

The warring sides traded accusations early Friday involving the shelling of residential areas. Authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said the town of Martakert and several villages in the Martuni region were struck by Azerbaijani rockets.

Baker Alla Mayrik prepares to bake bread for the soldiers on the frontline in Askeran, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Baker Alla Mayrik prepares to bake bread for the soldiers on the frontline in Askeran, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo)

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry denied the claim and accused Armenian forces of targeting the Terter, Agdam and Agjabedi regions of Azerbaijan overnight.

Armenia and Azerbaijan agree new truce

  Armenia and Azerbaijan agree new truce The fresh ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh comes after a truce agreed last weekend failed to hold.The two confirmed the truce would begin at midnight local time (20:00 GMT).

Amid the relentless shelling, many residents have sought protection from rockets and artillery shells by moving into squalid basements.

A few families, including children and elderly women, found refuge in the basement of a school in Stepanakert, the regional capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.

One of the residents who found shelter there, Nurvart, said her five sons were all at the frontline along with other ethnic Armenian residents of the region who joined the military amid the recent armed conflict.

“They are fighting for our right to live here,” said Nurvart, who refrained from mentioning her last name amid the hostilities.

Small children played and laughed as women cooked food and tried to warm up the cold, damp school basement.

Another woman hiding in the basement, Marina, vented her anger at the Azerbaijani authorities:

“All they know is how to kill," she said, not giving her last name in the jittery war situation. "I do not know, maybe there are people who feel the same as we do, but there is a government that has created all this.”

What is behind the Nagorno-Karabakh flare-up?

  What is behind the Nagorno-Karabakh flare-up? And how can it be resolved?

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a war there ended in 1994. The current fighting that started Sept. 27 marks the worst escalation in the conflict since the war’s end.

Azerbaijan's national flag flies over destroyed houses in a residential area that was hit by rocket fire overnight by Armenian forces, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 in Ganja, Azerbaijan's second largest city, near the border with Armenia. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh is continuing with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks. The nearly four weeks of hostilities have raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo/Aziz Karimov) © Provided by Associated Press Azerbaijan's national flag flies over destroyed houses in a residential area that was hit by rocket fire overnight by Armenian forces, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 in Ganja, Azerbaijan's second largest city, near the border with Armenia. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh is continuing with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks. The nearly four weeks of hostilities have raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo/Aziz Karimov)

According to Nagorno-Karabakh officials, 927 of their troops have been killed, and more than 30 civilians also have died. Azerbaijan hasn’t disclosed its military losses, but says 63 civilians have been killed and 292 have been wounded. Armenia officially isn't engaged in the fighting)

Fighting rages as Armenia, Azerbaijan engage in talks: Live news

  Fighting rages as Armenia, Azerbaijan engage in talks: Live news After almost one month of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, dozens of civilians and hundreds of soldiers have been killed.“For about 10 days during heavy shelling of Stepanakert we didn’t have time to track down those infected patients, and it allowed contagion to spread in quicker than usual. However now the situation will be under control,” he said.

Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of targeting its towns and villages with artillery and missiles, which Armenian authorities have denied.

In this image taken from video released by Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, Azerbaijan army soldiers fire an artillery piece during fighting with forces of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said that to end hostilities Armenian forces must withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh. He has insisted that Azerbaijan has the right to reclaim its territory by force after nearly three decades of international mediation yielded no progress. (Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry via AP) © Provided by Associated Press In this image taken from video released by Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, Azerbaijan army soldiers fire an artillery piece during fighting with forces of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said that to end hostilities Armenian forces must withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh. He has insisted that Azerbaijan has the right to reclaim its territory by force after nearly three decades of international mediation yielded no progress. (Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that Moscow's information indicated that the combined death toll from the nearly four weeks of fighting was approaching 5,000, a significantly higher number than officially reported by the warring parties.

Russia has co-chaired the so-called Minsk Group set up by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to mediate in the conflict.

Putin said the country is doing its best to negotiate a lasting truce. He voiced hope that the United States would work cooperatively to help end hostilities and mediate a political settlement.

'Execution' video prompts Karabakh war crime probe

  'Execution' video prompts Karabakh war crime probe A video posted on social media appears to show the execution of two Armenian prisoners by troops from Azerbaijan.One video posted on a messaging app shows what appears to be two Armenians in military uniforms being captured by troops from Azerbaijan.

A girl hugs her grandmother as they take refuge in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press A girl hugs her grandmother as they take refuge in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo)

With a military base in Armenia and a security pact obliging Moscow to protect its ally, Moscow has been involved in a delicate balancing act, trying to also maintain good ties with Azerbaijan and avoid a showdown with Turkey.

Children play as they take refuge in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Children play as they take refuge in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo)

Turkey has thrown its weight behind Azerbaijan, vowing to support longtime ally Azerbaijan “on the battlefield or the negotiating table.” It has trained Azerbaijani military and provided it with strike drones and long-range rocket systems that gave Azerbaijan a strong edge on the battlefield.

Armenians watch Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev speaking on television as they take refuge in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Armenians watch Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev speaking on television as they take refuge in a bomb shelter in Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. (AP Photo)

Armenian officials say Turkey is directly involved in the conflict and is sending Syrian mercenaries to fight on Azerbaijan’s side. Turkey has denied deploying combatants to the region, but a Syrian war monitor and Syria-based opposition activists have confirmed that Turkey has sent hundreds of Syrian opposition fighters to fight in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenians Beg Putin to Send Secret Soldiers For Their War in Nagorno-Karabakh

  Armenians Beg Putin to Send Secret Soldiers For Their War in Nagorno-Karabakh MOSCOW—After several weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the contested mountain region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenians have all but stopped hoping for any help from their ally Russia. Under a mutual defense pact known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)—the Russian equivalent to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—Moscow has pledged to send troops to defend member states like Armenia if they are under attack. But Armenians aren’t holding their breath, even as the death toll mounts and Azerbaijan gains ground in the contested region thanks to their superior drone power.

Yury Melkonyan, 64, sits in his house damaged by shelling from Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Shosh village outside Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo) © Provided by Associated Press Yury Melkonyan, 64, sits in his house damaged by shelling from Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Shosh village outside Stepanakert, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began Sept. 27 and marked the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region lies in Azerbaijan but has been under control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994. (AP Photo)

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Avet Demourian in Yerevan, Armenia, Aida Sultanova in London and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

Armenia, Azerbaijan trade accusations again after new attacks .
Shelling reported by both sides within hours of the latest agreement to defuse conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.Shelling was reported by both sides on Saturday within hours of the latest agreement to defuse the conflict, reached after talks in Geneva between the two countries’ foreign ministers and envoys from France, Russia and the United States.

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