Armenia says 51 more soldiers were killed in clashes with Azerbaijani forces in occupied Karabakh as fighting between Caucasus rivals enters seventh day.

Azerbaijan says its troops destroyed a large amount of military equipment belonging to the Armenian military amid the ongoing border clashes.
Azerbaijan says its troops destroyed a large amount of military equipment belonging to the Armenian military amid the ongoing border clashes. (AA)

Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have engaged in fierce clashes as fighting over the occupied Karabakh region intensified with Azerbaijan "capturing new footholds" and killing over 50 Armenian troopers. 

On Saturday, Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry said its forces have "captured new footholds" and that the Armenians "suffered serious losses in manpower and military hardware".

Azerbaijan liberated crucial Madagiz town from Armenian occupation, saying it's name will be changed back to its original "Sugovushan." Baku also liberated seven villages from Armenian occupation after intense fighting.

Armenian authorities in the disputed region said some 51 servicemen were killed during the latest fighting. 

Armenia's Defence Ministry said its forces repelled a "massive attack" by Azerbaijan in one area of the frontline.

"Heavy fighting is ongoing on other flanks," Defence Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan said.

Self-styled Karabakh chief Arayik Harutyunyan said a "final battle" was under way with Azerbaijani soldiers.

READ MORE: Azerbaijan frees major positions as clashes rage on day six

Ceasefire calls  

Both sides have been accused of hitting civilian areas, with Azerbaijan saying on Saturday that Armenian artillery had shelled 19 of its settlements overnight. It said 19 civilians were killed so far in Armenian shelling. 

The new fighting erupted last Sunday and mounting international calls for a halt to the hostilities and a return to negotiations over the dispute have gone unanswered.

Azerbaijan said its troops destroyed a large amount of military equipment belonging to the Armenian military amid the ongoing border clashes.

It also published a video of its military suppressing Armenia's "combat activity in various directions of the front."

Separately, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the clashes.

Macron express his concerns and urged a ceasefire.

The Azerbaijani president stressed that Armenia is responsible for disrupting negotiation process and for triggering clashes.

READ MORE: Karabakh – Azerbaijan, Armenia no closer to ending clashes after 5 days

'We have no time to wait another 30 years'

In the interview with Al Jazeera, a transcript of which was distributed on Saturday by the presidential press office, Aliyev criticised the so-called Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has tried to mediate a resolution of the dispute.

One of the reasons behind the current fighting is that "the mediators do not insist or exert pressure to start implementing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council," he said.

"We have no time to wait another 30 years. The conflict must be resolved now," Aliyev said.

Iran warns against 'intrusion'

Meanwhile, Iran warned against any "intrusion" by Armenian and Azerbaijani forces after mortar fire hit Iranian villages along the border.

"Any intrusion upon our country's territory by either side of the conflict is intolerable (and) we seriously warn all sides to take the necessary precautions in this regard," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement on Saturday.

He called for an end to the fighting between the two countries and said Iran stood ready to facilitate talks.

Iran does not border directly with occupied Karabakh, but it does border adjacent Armenian-occupied areas of Azerbaijan which have seen fighting over the past week. 

Diplomatic efforts

Border clashes broke out last week when Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions, leading to casualties.

Armenia says it is "ready to engage" with mediators but Azerbaijan says Armenian forces must fully withdraw from occupied Karabakh and other areas before a ceasefire can be brokered.

READ MORE: Azerbaijan vows to fight until Armenia leaves Karabakh
Occupied Karabakh is not recognised as independent by any country – including Armenia.

World powers, including the US, Russia, France, and Germany, have urged an immediate halt to clashes along the frontier.

Turkey, meanwhile, has voiced support for Azerbaijan's right to reclaim occupied Karabakh. Pakistan, Ukraine, Hungary back Baku's right of self-defence. 

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organisations, demand the withdrawal of occupying Armenian forces. 

The OSCE Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. 

Talks to resolve the conflict have made little progress since a 1994 ceasefire agreement.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies