Europe’s ‘forgotten’ war: Azerbaijan vs Armenia

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Several Azerbaijani soldiers have been killed during fighting in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, Azerbaijan said Saturday as it and neighboring Armenia traded blame for an outbreak of violence.

The clashes were some of the heaviest in the region since fighting last year saw about 75 soldiers from both sides killed.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement Saturday that its forces had “suffered losses” when its positions were attacked by Armenian troops early Saturday. It did not give a precise number for those killed or wounded.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry said in a statement, also released Saturday, that Armenian forces did not suffer any casualties and that Azerbaijani soldiers were killed when they launched an attack.

Both sides claimed they inflicted losses on each other. Azerbaijan said in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies that it had shot down an Armenian drone and destroyed an Armenian firing position.

Armenian media quoted Nagorno-Karabakh officials saying that Azerbaijan had deployed tanks in the skirmish.

Nagorno-Karabakh is in Azerbaijan, but since a separatist war ended in 1994 it has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military. Armenian forces also occupy several areas outside the Karabakh region.

Fighting between the two sides in April was the worst in 20 years and an uneasy peace was only restored following a Russian-brokered cease-fire agreement.