Azerbaijani general among soldiers killed in Armenian border conflict

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Media captionFuneral in Azerbaijan for one of the dead soldiers

Azerbaijan says that one of its generals and five other officers was killed in a third day of fighting with Armenian forces on the border with the country.

An Azerbaijani soldier also died, bringing the official Azerbaijani death toll to 11.

Azerbaijan says heavy fighting is continuing in the Tovuz district, on the border with Tavush, in northeast Armenia.

Armenia says two Armenian officers were killed. Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed region to the south, remains tense.

The two sides also accuse each other of pounding civilian areas at the border.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said that four Azerbaijani soldiers were killed on Sunday and Monday in clashes involving tanks and artillery.

The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, controlled by ethnic Armenians, remains unresolved.

The Azerbaijani army has declared that it had destroyed an Armenian fortification and artillery and that it had made “hundreds” of Armenian soldiers. Armenia denied having suffered casualties of this magnitude, but reported several injuries in addition to the two officers killed.

The two former Caucasian Soviet republics fought a fierce war in the 1990s, when Armenia supported the majority of ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

In an emergency meeting on Monday, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said: “The political and military leaders of Armenia will take full responsibility for the provocation.”

Armenia however accused neighbor of “using artillery in attack to capture [Armenian] positions “.

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Legend

Azerbaijani artillery – years of diplomacy have failed to ease tensions


President Aliyev said on July 6 that peace talks with Armenia to resolve the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict had stalled.

He called the recent talks between the foreign ministers of the countries “useless”.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has long been trying to negotiate a settlement to the conflict, which dates back to the 1990s.

The OSCE Minsk Group – French, Russian and American diplomats – is trying to build on a fragile ceasefire agreed in 1994.

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