Baku says humanitarian ceasefire agreed at Moscow talks with Yerevan over occupied-Karabakh would only last for as long as it took for the Red Cross to arrange the exchange of the dead.

A woman reacts after seeing her damaged house as locals return to flashpoint Tartar town of Azerbaijan, on October 10, 2020.
A woman reacts after seeing her damaged house as locals return to flashpoint Tartar town of Azerbaijan, on October 10, 2020. (AA)

Azerbaijan has said its Caucasus rival Armenia launched new attacks in breach of a ceasefire deal to end nearly two weeks of heavy fighting over the Armenia-occupied Karabakh region.

Yerevan, in turn, accused Baku of violating the truce. 

The two sides agreed to implement the ceasefire from Saturday noon (0800GMT), after 11 hours of talks in Moscow, but it took only minutes after the deadline for their forces to claim new attacks.

Azerbaijan's defence ministry said the Armenian forces were shelling civilian areas of the country.

"Armenian armed forces are intensively shelling populated areas in Geranboy, Tartar, Agdam, Agjaberdi, and Fizuli districts. Azerbaijan is taking reciprocal measures," the ministry said in a statement.

The Armenian defence ministry said that "in disregard of the previously declared humanitarian ceasefire" Azerbaijani forces had launched an attack on the frontline at 12:05 pm.

Civilian killed in Azerbaijan 

Armenia is not complying with the temporary ceasefire which shows that they are conducting hypocritical politics, Azerbaijan presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev said.

Later on Saturday, Azerbaijani prosecutors said the villages of Chemenli and Zengishali in the Agdam province came under artillery firing of Armenia troops at around 7 pm local time (0300GMT).

They said a civilian Gunduz Huseynov, 46, was killed in the attack on Chemenli, taking the number of Azerbaijani civilian casualties to 32.

Bayramov: Ceasefire is temporary

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan's Foreign MinisterJeyhun Bayramov said that the ceasefire would only last for as long as it took for the Red Cross to arrange the exchange of the dead.

Speaking at a briefing in capital Baku, he complained that the status quo on the ground in the mountainous enclave did not suit his country and that Azerbaijan hoped and expected to take control of more territory in time. 

In Barda, an Azerbaijani town about 40 kilometres from the conflict zone, many residents who spoke to AFP news agency were against the ceasefire and in favour of Baku pressing on with its campaign to restore its control of Karabakh.

"We don't want a ceasefire. They should leave our lands," said Zemfira Mammadova, a 71-year-old retiree. 

"They should get out, and let our people live a normal life. We have nothing to do with them and they should stay away from us."

READ MORE: Azerbaijan, Armenia agree on ceasefire in Karabakh

Truce to allow exchanges of prisoners, bodies

If the truce holds despite skirmishes, it would mark a major diplomatic coup for Russia, which has a security pact with Armenia but also cultivated warm ties with Azerbaijan.

The ceasefire deal had been announced after talks between the two countries' top diplomats mediated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and his Azeri counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov did not speak to reporters in Moscow after striking the deal.

Lavrov also said the truce had been agreed "on humanitarian grounds" and would allow for exchanges of prisoners and bodies.

Lavrov also said that Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to "substantive negotiations" on resolving the dispute.

Those talks would be held under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Minsk Group, he said.

Turkey, France welcome truce

France on Saturday called for the ceasefire to be strictly respected "in order to create the conditions for a permanent cessation of hostilities."

Turkey’s Defence Ministry said Azerbaijan achieved success in saving their occupied territories and Armenia should return these lands back to its owner. 

"Until this step is taken, we'll continue to stand by our Azerbaijani-Turkish brothers."

READ MORE: Azerbaijan, Armenia continue to clash over Karabakh

Latest fighting

The latest outburst of fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began on September 27 and left hundreds of people dead in the biggest escalation of the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since a separatist war there ended in 1994. 

The conflict has raised fears of a wider war drawing in Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a defence pact with Armenia.

Clashes have also increased concern about the security of pipelines that carry Azerbaijani oil and gas to Europe.

The fighting is the worst since a 1991 to 1994 war that killed about 30,000 people and ended with a ceasefire that has been violated repeatedly.

Ties between Baku and Yerevan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, an internationally recognised territory of Azerbaijan.

Multiple UN resolutions, as well as international organisations, demand the withdrawal of the invading Armenian forces.

READ MORE: Azerbaijani FM to meet international mediators over Karabakh conflict

Source: TRTWorld and agencies