Over 20 more servicemen in Nagorno-Karabakh killed in fighting with Azerbaijan

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Ethnic Armenian officials in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh said on Tuesday that 21 more servicemen had been killed in fighting with Azerbaijan, bringing its total military death toll to 244 since war broke out on Sept. 27.

The fighting has surged to its worst level since the 1990s, when some 30,000 people were killed.

Read more: NATO chief expects Turkey to calm Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

The region of Nagorno-Karabakh lies inside Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the escalating violence on Monday and again urged an immediate halt to hostilities, stressing that there is no military solution to the conflict, his spokesman said.

The UN chief “is gravely concerned by reports of the extension of hostilities, including the targeting of populated areas,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

He urges a return to negotiations led by Russia, France and the US — co-chairs of the so-called Minsk Group, which was set up by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1992 to resolve the conflict.

The fighting erupted Sept. 27 and both sides have accused each other of expanding the hostilities beyond Nagorno-Karabakh.

According to Nagorno-Karabakh officials, about 220 servicemen on their side have died in the clashes since then. The state-run Armenian Unified Infocenter said that 21 civilians have been killed in the region and 82 others wounded.

Azerbaijani authorities haven’t given details about military casualties, but said 25 civilians were killed and 127 wounded.

Both sides have repeatedly accused each other of targeting civilians.

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