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World Nagorno-Karabakh truce under severe strain as both sides allege violations

11:25  11 october  2020
11:25  11 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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  Exclusive: Official at Center of Armenia, Azerbaijan Conflict Calls It Fight to Death "We've been here our whole life, and we are staying here to do what we can. It would be wrong not to worry, but it would be wrong to panic and leave your post," Artsakh representative to the U.S. told Newsweek.For this tiny republic, defeat could mean the end of his internationally unrecognized government, and perhaps worse for its constituents.

A Russia-brokered ceasefire was supposed to end the fighting in the disputed Nagorno - Karabakh region at noon local time on Saturday, but Armenia and Azerbaijan both quickly reported continued attacks on each other's positions. Yerevan’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan said

The Nagorno - Karabakh War, referred to in Armenia as the Artsakh Liberation War, was an ethnic and territorial conflict that took place in the late 1980s to May 1994

By Nailia Bagirova and Nvard Hovhannisyan

a man in a military uniform: Search and rescue teams work on the blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja © Reuters/UMIT BEKTAS Search and rescue teams work on the blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja

BAKU/YEREVAN (Reuters) - A Russian-brokered humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh was under severe strain on Sunday a day after it was agreed, with Azerbaijan and Armenia accusing each other of serious violations and crimes against civilians.

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The 2020 Nagorno - Karabakh conflict was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, together with Armenia in the Nagorno - Karabakh region

Nagorno - Karabakh conflict grows as big cities hit. Both Azerbaijan's second city and the capital of Video caption: Nagorno - Karabakh conflict: Civilians and BBC team flee shellingNagorno-Karabakh Armenia 'ready' for Nagorno - Karabakh truce talks. Casualties mount in the southern Caucasus as

The ceasefire, clinched after marathon talks in Moscow advocated by President Vladimir Putin, was meant to halt fighting to allow ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and Azeri forces to swap prisoners and war dead.

a group of military men standing next to a building: Search and rescue teams work on the blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja © Reuters/UMIT BEKTAS Search and rescue teams work on the blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja

The Moscow talks were the first diplomatic contact between the two since fighting over the mountainous enclave erupted on Sept. 27, killing hundreds of people. The enclave is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.

Both sides accused one another of breaking the ceasefire almost immediately on Saturday, and Azerbaijan gave the impression in public comments from top officials that it saw it as only a brief and temporary breathing space anyway.

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  France struggles for Karabakh peace breakthrough amid fierce fighting France struggles for Karabakh peace breakthrough amid fierce fightingYEREVAN/BAKU (Reuters) - A French attempt to relaunch peace talks over Nagorno-Karabakh showed no sign of a breakthrough on Saturday as Azerbaijan blamed Armenia for re-igniting their decades-old conflict.

The Nagorno - Karabakh War, also known as the Artsakh Liberation War in Armenia and Nagorno - Karabakh , was Both sides accused the other of violating the ceasefire regime. These were the worst violations of the cease-fire (which has been in place since 1994) in two years and left

Nagorno Karabakh is located in Azerbaijan but is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians. Karabakh is a region within Azerbaijan which has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces Nagorno - Karabakh is about 1,700 square miles in size, but Armenian forces also occupy other

a large ship in the background: A soldier works on blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja © Reuters/UMIT BEKTAS A soldier works on blast site hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja

On Sunday, Azerbaijan accused Armenia of heavily shelling a residential area in Ganja, its second largest city, in the early hours of the morning, and of hitting an apartment building.

The Azeri Prosecutor General's Office said five people had been killed and 28 wounded in the attack, which it said violated the norms of the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians.

The Armenian defence ministry called the Azeri allegations "an absolute lie" and accused Azerbaijan of continuing to shell populated areas inside Karabakh, including Stepanakert, the region's biggest city.

A Reuters photographer in Ganja saw rescue workers carrying one dead person from the ruins of a large apartment building on Sunday morning. The structure had been almost levelled. An excavator was clearing the debris.

Armenia's Prime Minister Accuses Turkey of 'Reinstating the Ottoman Empire' in Sending Mercenaries to Nagorno Karabakh

  Armenia's Prime Minister Accuses Turkey of 'Reinstating the Ottoman Empire' in Sending Mercenaries to Nagorno Karabakh The revival of the 30-year conflict threatens to engulf Armenia and Azerbaijan in all-out warIn fact, the battle already threatens to bleed beyond the mountainous 1700-square mile enclave in the South Caucasus to engulf Azerbaijan and Armenia in all-out war, and risks provoking an even wider conflagration. In an interview with TIME, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan doubled down on accusations that its bitter rival Turkey is already intervening militarily on behalf of Azerbaijan, claiming President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is vying to extend his influence in the region.

Under international humanitarian law, the law that governs armed conflict, parties to conflict have an obligation to collect and evacuate the dead without The ICRC is available to offer technical advice to the sides so that the dead are identified in accordance with international humanitarian law, and then

Turkey’s involvement in the Nagorno - Karabakh flare-up has been wholly unhelpful. Rather than mediate between close neighbours, its president Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, last week deplored artillery strikes by both sides that killed, injured and terrorised

a person standing in front of a building: A man searches for belongings in his damaged house, hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, in the city of Ganja © Reuters/UMIT BEKTAS A man searches for belongings in his damaged house, hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, in the city of Ganja

Buildings and cars in the immediate vicinity had also been severely damaged.

Reuters could not independently verify Azeri assertions about the number of fatalities.

Azerbaijan accused Armenia of also launching an unsuccessful rocket attack on an Azeri hydro-electric power station in Mingachevir. Ethnic Armenian forces in Karabakh denied the assertion.

Arayik Haratyunyan, the leader of ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, described the situation as relatively calm on Sunday morning, but said he did not know how long it would last and that the frontline remained tense.

He accused Azeri forces of trying to unsuccessfully take control of the town of Hadrut, and said the process of the two sides exchanging prisoners should have started on Sunday, but that it was unclear if and when that would happen.

a car parked in front of a house: A man stands in front of his damaged house hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja © Reuters/UMIT BEKTAS A man stands in front of his damaged house hit by a rocket during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Ganja

Renewed fighting in the decades-old conflict has raised fears of a wider war drawing in Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a defence pact with Armenia.

The clashes have also increased concern about the security of pipelines that carry Azeri oil and gas to Europe.

The fighting is the worst since a 1991-94 war that killed about 30,000 people and ended with a ceasefire that has been violated repeatedly.

(Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Frances Kerry)

How the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been shaped by past empires .
A fateful decision by Stalin, and divisions drawn by the Soviet Union, still reverberate in a historic conflict that has recently re-erupted on the battlefields of the Caucasus.Residents of Stepanakert, the capital of the self-declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, enter a building damaged by a missile attack on October 3, 2020. While the majority population of the territory is ethnic Armenian, it is considered part of Azerbaijan by most of the international community.

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