By Nailia Bagirova and Nvard Hovhannisyan
BAKU/YEREVAN (Reuters) – Azerbaijan and Armenia accused one another of killing civilians by shelling cities in and round Nagorno-Karabakh on Wednesday, in an escalation of a month-long battle over the mountain enclave that has defied three ceasefires.
Azerbaijan mentioned 14 folks had been killed when Armenian shells hit the city of Barda, northeast of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian-backed officers in Nagorno-Karabakh mentioned Azeri shells had fallen on the enclave’s two largest cities, killing one individual.
Either side denied one another’s claims.
The worst preventing within the South Caucasus for practically 30 years has raised fears of a wider warfare that would suck in Russia and Turkey, an ally of Azerbaijan. It additionally poses a menace to pipelines carrying oil and fuel from Azerbaijan to world markets.
Armenia’s defence ministry additionally confirmed on Wednesday that Azerbaijan had seized the city of Gubadli between the enclave and the Iranian border, an obvious navy achieve that would make a diplomatic answer harder.
Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as a part of Azerbaijan however is populated and managed by ethnic Armenians. About 30,000 folks had been killed in a 1991-94 warfare within the area.
Azerbaijan rejects any answer that would depart Armenians accountable for the enclave, which it considers to be illegally occupied. Armenia regards the territory as a part of its historic homeland and says the inhabitants there wants its safety.
The prosecutor common of Azerbaijan’s workplace mentioned 14 folks had been killed in Barda. Azerbaijan’s defence ministry mentioned earlier that Armenian forces had fired at settlements within the close by Terter area and in Aghjabedi.
The Emergency and Rescue Service of ethnic Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh mentioned shells had fallen on Stepanakert, the enclave’s largest metropolis. It mentioned a civilian had been killed by shelling in one other metropolis, Shushi, 15 km (9 miles) to the south.
Reuters couldn’t independently confirm the stories.
The Nagorno-Karabakh defence ministry has recorded 1,068 navy deaths since preventing erupted on Sept. 27. Azerbaijan has not disclosed its navy casualties. Russia has estimated as many as 5,000 deaths in all.
The newest of three ceasefires was brokered in Washington on Sunday. U.S. President Donald Trump referred to as the renewed preventing “disappointing” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged either side to pursue a diplomatic answer.
The OSCE Minsk Group, shaped to mediate the battle and led by France, Russia and the USA, is scheduled to satisfy the Armenian and Azeri overseas ministers in Geneva on Thursday. Turkey has demanded an even bigger position within the group.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a telephone name with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, expressed considerations over what he mentioned was the elevated involvement of fighters from the Center East.
Erdogan mentioned on Wednesday that Turkey was honest in its efforts to resolve the battle and he believed in Russia’s sincerity. He mentioned he had informed Putin that Armenia was utilizing Kurdish militants.
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