Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of violating ceasefire deal

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Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Wednesday of violating a ceasefire agreement that ended two days of warfare this month - the second such violation in five days.

Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said that at about 6 p.m. (1400 GMT), Armenian units had started firing at Azerbaijani positions in the Kalbajar region, wounding one serviceman, and that Azerbaijani forces had taken “retaliatory measures.”

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The Armenian defense ministry gave an opposite account, tweeting that Azerbaijani forces had fired towards Armenian positions near the common border using mortars and large-caliber weapons, and that the Armenian side had retaliated.

After border clashes two weeks ago that killed almost 200 soldiers, the worst bout of fighting since a six-week war between the two ex-Soviet countries in late 2020, the two sides agreed to a ceasefire deal brokered by Russia.

Armenia said then that Azerbaijan had attacked its territory and seized settlements inside its borders; Azerbaijan said it was responding to “provocations” from the Armenian side.

Last Friday, both sides accused each other of breaching the truce by firing across the border.

The fighting is linked to decades-old hostilities over control of the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but until 2020 largely controlled by the majority ethnic Armenian population.

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