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Live updates: bombardment of Stepanakert continues in ninth day of war

5 October 2020

Fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh is continuing for the ninth day.

[The news as it happened: Sunday and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday]

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 For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

05 Oct 2020, 20:40

Ilham Aliyev announces that Azerbaijani military has taken control of  three new villages

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has announced that Azerbaijan has taken control of the villages of ‘Shikhali Agali, Sarijali, and Mazra villages of Jabrayil region’.

05 Oct 2020, 20:32

Explosions heard in Ganja and Mingechevir

The Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan has reported that Ganja has been subject to  another missile strike. Locals report hearing explosions in Ganja, but also in the city of Mingechevir. 

05 Oct 2020, 18:42

Nagorno-Karabakh authorities: a total of 19 civilians have been killed

The Human Rights Defender of Nagorno-Karabakh has announced that a total of 19 civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh have died since the fighting began. Another 80 civilians are reported to be injured.

05 Oct 2020, 18:22

Red Cross condemns use of heavy weapons and ‘deadly toll on civilians’ 

In a statement released on 4 October the International Committee for the Red Cross Martin Schüepp, ICRC Eurasia regional director condemned the ‘indiscriminate shelling’ and other use of explosive weaponry in ‘cities, towns and other populated areas, in which civilians are losing their lives and suffering terrible injuries’. 

‘All feasible measures must be taken to protect and spare civilians and civilian infrastructures like hospitals, schools, and markets’, he added. ‘Water supply for civilians must also be protected. These are obligations under international humanitarian law’. 

05 Oct 2020, 18:12

Ilham Aliyev: ‘We want this issue to be resolved peacefully, but it must be resolved’ 

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has again outlined specific conditions for a ceasefire in an interview with Turkey’s TRT Haber

‘We have requirements. We must be given very serious guarantees. International mediators must confirm these guarantees to us. At the same time, we must be given a schedule for Armenia's withdrawal from the occupied territories, on which day from which region they will leave. Of course, then the war will stop. Because we want this issue to be resolved peacefully, but it must be resolved’, he said. 

‘As we liberate our ancestral lands, these calls come: do not move forward, take a break. War has its own rules, its own laws. Every day has its own significance. If we take a break, the other side will recover and gather additional forces’. 

‘In any case, their speeches show that they also involve Armenians living outside Armenia in this war. Thus, they want to take this war out of the regional arena and turn it into a global war. Therefore, we have the same word on the ceasefire. We are ready for that. But there are certain conditions’, he said. 

Responding to calls from the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group for a ceasefire, Aliyev said that a ceasefire would be a ‘very difficult process’ even if Armenia agreed to Azerbaijan’s conditions. 

He also said that Turkey should join the Minsk Group.

‘Turkey is a strong state, a country with great potential in the world, it is our neighbour, a neighbour of Armenia, a neighbour of the South Caucasus. Therefore, of course, Turkey must be active in this work’, he said. 

‘Turkey must definitely participate in the next peace process. Of course, the peace process will begin, war cannot always be fought, and the sooner it happens the better. This is our position, and thus a lasting peace can be ensured in the region’, he said.

05 Oct 2020, 18:01

Armenian troops ‘retracted’ from parts of frontline 

Vahram Poghosyan, spokesperson of the President of Nagorno-Karabakh has announced Armenian forces have ‘retracted’ troops from some parts of the frontline. He said this was done to ‘avoid unnecessary victims’ and to ‘cause more damage to the enemy’s troops’.

05 Oct 2020, 17:21

Pashinyan calls on conscripts who finished service last year to sign up

In a public address, Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has called on conscripts demobilized within the last year to voluntarily sign up for military service, since according to Armenian legislation they are not subject to general mobilization.

05 Oct 2020, 16:39

Azerbaijan: Total of 25 civilians killed

The Office of the Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan reports that since the fighting started a total of 25 civilians have been killed and 127 injured.

05 Oct 2020, 16:13

NATO chief calls for ceasefire

‘It is extremely important that we convey a very clear message to all parties that they should cease fighting immediately, that we should support all efforts to find a peaceful, negotiated solution’ Reuters reports NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg saying during a news conference.

AFP also reports that he also called on Turkey to ‘calm’ the conflict. 

05 Oct 2020, 15:02

Russian Presidential Plane carried preparatory group of EEU Intergovernmental Council

The Russian Presidential plane that landed in Yerevan earlier today was carrying members of the preparatory group for the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) Intergovernmental Council, local news report

The EAEU Intergovernmental Council’s session in Yerevan will be held on 9 October, it was scheduled before the current Nagorno-Karabakh fighting broke out.

05 Oct 2020, 14:32

Azerbaijan: Ganja, Barda and Beylagan are being shelled

Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan Hikmat Hajiyev has reported that Armenian forces have targetted ‘densely populated civilian areas’ in Ganja, Barda, Beylagan, and  ‘other cities of Azerbaijan’ with ‘missiles and rockets’.

He also posted a video showing a large market in Ganja that had apparently been hit. 

Azerbaijan’s Chief Prosecutor’s office has stated that as a result of the shelling of Barda one civilian was killed and three civilians were injured. 

05 Oct 2020, 14:01

Armenia confirms 228 military deaths

The Armenian Ministry of Defence has confirmed that a total of 228 military personnel have been killed in the ongoing fighting. As of yet, Azerbaijan has not released any information on the number of deaths among their soldiers. 

05 Oct 2020, 13:34

Russian presidential plane lands in Yerevan

A Russian presidential aircraft has reportedly landed in Yerevan. At the moment, there is no information about the passengers on board.

05 Oct 2020, 12:54

Explosions rock cities near line of contact

According to local reports, Stepanakert (Khankandi) is again under heavy bombardment.

The city also suffered from continuous strikes yesterday, with one video filmed on location apparently showing the use of cluster munitions.

Civilian settlements near the line of contact in Azerbaijan also suffered shelling yesterday, with Russian journalists capturing images of shelling in the city of Tartar. There were also reports of shelling in Beylagan and Barda

05 Oct 2020, 11:45

Armenia denies attacks on Khizi, Absheron, and Mingachevir

In a statement posted to Twitter last night, Armenia’s Defence Ministry has denied Azerbaijani reports Armenian forces fired missiles at Khizi and the Absheron district calling the claims ‘another lie that explicitly proves Azerbaijan is preparing ground for provocation’. 

The authorities of both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh also denied Azerbaijani reports of an attack on the city of Mingachevir.

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