Sunday, 3 April 2016

Azerbaijan ceases all military action in Karabakh

Azerbaijan ceases all military action in Karabakh - Defense Ministry

A general view shows Nagorno Karabakh's main city of Stepanakert © Reuters
A general view shows Nagorno Karabakh's main city of Stepanakert © Reuters

3 April, 2016

Azerbaijan has decided to unilaterally cease all hostilities in Karabakh, the country's Defense Ministry said. It added it would resume military action if attacked.

Based on our love of peace and the calls of international organizations, Azerbaijan decided to unilaterally cease military response action,” ministry spokesman Vagif Dyargahly said.

The ministry, however, reiterated its accusations that Armenia is to blame for the continued hostilities.

Azerbaijan also said that it would return fire, if their opponents try to take back territory captured by the Azeris during the Sunday offensive.

The Armenian side tried to take back the territories liberated by Azerbaijan's military yesterday and lost 10 tanks and soldiers,”ministry spokesman Vagif Dyargahly said.

Azerbaijan considers Nagorno-Karabakh military as Armenian and refers to them as such. Nagorny-Karabakh is self-governed, but has strong support from Armenia.

The violence in Nagorny-Karabakh, a breakaway Azeri region with a predominantly Armenian population that fought an independence war in the 1990s, escalated on Friday night. Baku and Yerevan accused each other of provoking hostilities.

Sporadic clashes along the engagement line reportedly continued on Sunday despite the effort of the OSCE Minsk group, which is tasked with preserving the truce in the conflict zone, to stop the violence.

It remains unclear which party triggered the latest round of escalation in Nagorny-Karabakh. Each accused their opponent of starting the violence. The exact number of casualties has also not been independently verified, as the numbers of enemy combatants killed or injured as claimed by each side are drastically higher than the corresponding number reported by the opposite party. Dozens are estimated to have been injured.

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