Pro-Armenian militia kills 3 Azerbaijani soldiers

Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry says three Azerbaijani servicemen have died in fresh fighting with pro-Armenian militias in occupied Karabakh and calls on Armenia stop aggravating situation

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Renewed violence worst since 1994 peace deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Three Azerbaijani servicemen have died in fresh fighting with pro-Armenian militias in the Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani region of Karabakh on Monday, Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry has said.

The ministry said it had halted the attacks by the Armenian military, but pro-Armenian militias are continuing to aggravating the situation by striking nearby settlements. The ministry warned Armenia against targeting civilians.

The recent fighting is one of the deadliest outbreaks of violence since a 1994 peace treaty between the countries brought about through Russian mediation.

"If Armenian forces continue targeting settlements and civilians, Armenia will bear the responsibility for the actions of Azerbaijani Army, which will ensure the safety of civilians," said Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev in a statement.

The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in 1988 after Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan emerged. Since 1992  the Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan including the Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

Over the weekend 12 Azerbaijani troops and more than 100 Armenian soldiers were killed in fighting around the Karabakh region.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry has said an Armenian command post and three tanks were destroyed in the fighting.

TRTWorld and agencies