Death toll of Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict rises to 963

Ethnic Armenian soldiers gather at their fighting positions on the front line in Nagorno-Karabakh. (File photo: Reuters)

The defense ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh said on Saturday that the number of Armenian troops killed in the latest conflict in the region that began on Sept. 27 had risen by 36 to 963, the Interfax news agency reported.

The collapse of two Russia-brokered ceasefires has dimmed hopes for a quick end to fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory in Azerbaijan controlled by ethnic Armenians.

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Rocket and artillery barrage hit residential areas in Nagorno-Karabakh on Saturday hours after the United States hosted top diplomats from Armenia and Azerbaijan for talks on settling their decades-long conflict over the region.

The heavy shelling forced residents of Stepanakert, the regional capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, into shelters, as emergency teams rushed to extinguish fires.

Local officials said the city was struck with Azerbaijan's Smerch long-range multiple rocket systems, a devastating Soviet-designed weapon intended to ravage wide areas with explosives and cluster munitions.

Nagorno-Karabakh authorities said other towns in the region were also targeted by Azerbaijani artillery fire. There was no immediate information about casualties.

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Last Update: Saturday, 24 October 2020 KSA 15:33 - GMT 12:33
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