The fighting and shelling has killed hundreds of people, both combatants and civilians, and marks the biggest escalation of a decades-old conflict over the region in more than a quarter of a century.

Azerbaijani army has retaken 13 more villages in Jabrayil region, says President Aliyev.
Azerbaijani army has retaken 13 more villages in Jabrayil region, says President Aliyev. (AA)

Azerbaijan's army has retaken 13 more villages in Jabrayil, a region under Armenian occupation.

The announcement was made on Monday on Twitter by President Ilham Aliyev. Aliyev said that the Armenian army violated the temporary humanitarian ceasefire on October 18 and fired heavy artillery on Azerbaijani citizen settlements and positions.

The new ceasefire – backed by international mediators to put a stop to three weeks of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh that has left hundreds dead – was the second to fail as both sides accused each other of fresh attacks.

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

UN urges Karabakh rivals to respect truce

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned attacks from both sides on populated areas and expressed deep regret that the warring parties have “continuously ignored the repeated calls of the international community to immediately stop the fighting,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The UN chief underscored in his latest calls with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan that both sides have an obligation under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, Dujarric said. 

Guterres also expects both parties to abide by the October 18 humanitarian truce and resume negotiations without delay under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

READ MORE: Temporary Armenia–Azerbaijan ceasefire comes into effect

Azerbaijan, Armenia blame each other for truce violations

Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that Armenian armed forces did not comply with the new ceasefire deal which came into force at midnight on Saturday.

The statement added that Armenian forces fired mortars and artillery in the vicinity of Jabrayil city, as well as towards liberated villages located along the Araz River.

The ministry said it incurred no losses of military personnel and its units took adequate retaliatory measures.

In another statement also released on Sunday, the ministry said it had on Saturday attacked Armenian positions and had destroyed two missile guiding stations of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system, five T-72 tanks, three BM-21 "Grad" MLRS, two Smerch MLRS, a D-20 gun-howitzer, a KS-19 anti-aircraft gun, and six vehicles.

The Azerbaijani military said it had also shot down another Armenian Su-25 fighter jet.

In a statement on Sunday, the ministry said the Su-25 jet was trying to launch air strikes on Azerbaijani positions in the Jabrayil region when it was shot down.

The jet was destroyed by Azerbaijani forces using the S-300 missile defence system at around 0830 GMT, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, authorities controlling Karabakh said Azerbaijani artillery fire continued overnight, with the area's forces taking "proportionate actions" in response.

But Nagorno-Karabakh's main city Stepanakert was quiet overnight, an AFP correspondent said.

Attacks on Ganja

Overnight Friday, at least 13 civilians were killed, including four women and three children, and nearly 50 others injured, when Armenian missiles struck Azerbaijan's Ganja city

Some 20 women and five children were also among the injured, while two children remain missing, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan said.

Over 20 homes were destroyed during the attack.

It was Armenia’s second-deadliest assault on the civilian-populated Ganja in less than a week.

The area is far from the frontline.

Tension for three decades

About 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory has remained under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

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. A ceasefire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

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

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for the cessation of hostilities. 

Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defence and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.

READ MORE: For some European politicians, support for Armenia is a religious duty

Source: TRTWorld and agencies