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  • Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Image rightsReutersImage descriptionA man removes rubble in the Nagorno-Karabakh capital Stepanakert *: not ([hidden]): not (style) ~ *: not ([hidden]): not (style) {margin-top: 1rem;}]]>

Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of violating a humanitarian ceasefire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region within minutes of entering into force.

A ceasefire was agreed to begin at midnight local time (Saturday, 8:00 p.m. GMT).

However, a spokeswoman for the Armenian Defense Ministry said Azerbaijan broke the ceasefire by firing artillery shells and missiles after just four minutes.

Azerbaijan has yet to respond to the allegations.

The ceasefire decision was made in line with agreements that resulted in a ceasefire being signed last weekend. Despite this agreement, the clashes continued.

Last month there was fighting over a region that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is led by ethnic Armenians. Hundreds have died.

This is the worst violence in the region since a six-year war for the territory that ended in a 1994 ceasefire.

  • What are Armenia and Azerbaijan arguing about?
  • The Karabakh War leaves the civilian population shocked and bitter
  • Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in pictures

On the previous Saturday, the two nations continued to exchange allegations of violations of the Russia-brokered ceasefire agreed last weekend, and it is likely that doubts remain after the latest statements.

What’s the latest agreement?

Both nations confirmed the humanitarian ceasefire, although few other details were given.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said the decision was based on statements made by the Presidents of the United States, France and Russia who represented the OSCE-Minsk Group – an institution established in 1992 and chaired by the three countries to mediate the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict .

Image rightsEPAImage descriptionRescue workers at the site of the damage in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja

Anna Naghdalyan, spokeswoman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, made the same statement in a tweet, applauding efforts to “ceasefire and de-escalate tensions” in the conflict zone.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who negotiated the agreement last weekend, spoke to colleagues in both countries on Saturday and said they had to “strictly follow” the earlier agreement.

What’s the latest on site?

“The enemy fired artillery shells north from 00:04 to 02:45 (20:04 to 22:45 GMT Saturday) and rockets south from 02:20 to 02:45,” it said Armenian Defense Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan said on Twitter.

Azerbaijan accused Armenia of a rocket attack in the early hours of Saturday morning, killing at least 13 civilians and injuring 45 in Ganja, a town far from the front lines.

In a Foreign Ministry statement, Armenia was accused of “deliberately and indiscriminately targeting civilians”.

Media signatureA ceasefire agreement could not stop the murder in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenian officials denied the attack, accusing Azerbaijan of attacking civilian areas.

Ms. Stepanyan posted a video on Facebook showing devastation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and accusing the Azerbaijani armed forces of attacking civilians with rockets in areas such as the capital, Nagorno-Karabakh, Stepanakert.

Media signatureUnder fire in Nagorno-Karabakh

Nagorno-Karabakh – key factors

  • A mountain region of approx. 4,400 km²
  • Traditionally inhabited by Christian Armenians and Muslim Turks
  • In the Soviet era it became an autonomous region within the Republic of Azerbaijan
  • Internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but the majority of the population is ethnically Armenian
  • An estimated one million people were displaced by the war in 1988-1994 and about 30,000 were killed
  • Separatist forces captured additional territory around the enclave in Azerbaijan in the war of the 1990s
  • Since a truce in 1994, the stalemate has largely prevailed
  • Turkey openly supports Azerbaijan
  • Russia has military bases in Armenia

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