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Three Armenians killed in fresh clashes with Azerbaijan 

29 September 2022
Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Photo: Armenian Public Radio.

Three Armenian soldiers have been killed and one Azerbaijani wounded in new clashes just two weeks after a brief war between the two countries.

Both sides accused each other of breaching the ceasefire on Wednesday evening, with Armenia claiming that Azerbaijan employed heavy weapons to target Armenian positions.

The exchange of fire took place near the southern border between the two countries.

At a cabinet meeting on Thursday morning, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan accused Azerbaijan of attacking Armenian forces from positions inside Armenian territory they had captured weeks earlier.

‘The territory of Armenia is occupied, and our position is unequivocal: the armed forces of Azerbaijan must withdraw from the territory of Armenia’, he said.

Late on Wednesday, Pashinyan also called for the deployment of an ‘international observer mission’ along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, which he said was an ‘absolute necessity’. 

The Azerbaijani government meanwhile said that all responsibility for the violence was on the political leadership of Armenia.

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EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, Toivo Klaar, wrote on Twitter that ‘these and many other senseless victims feed hate and instability’, following the news of the latest clashes. 

‘Security is only truly possible if borders are respected, and troops don’t face each other at close distances. Peace cannot be forced’. 

The clashes come just two weeks after a brief but deadly war between the two countries that left around 300 dead. On 13–14 September, Azerbaijani forces launched attacks along several areas of the border, capturing new positions.  They said the attacks were a response to an Armenian ‘provocation’.

The war was brought to an end after the intervention of the United States, who have emerged as the main mediator for the conflict. The US, along with France, broke with their previous practices during the war by naming Azerbaijan as the aggressor.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New York several days after the ceasefire. 

On Tuesday, a day before the latest clashes, the Secretary of Armenia’s National Security Service, Armen Grigoryan, and Azerbaijani presidential advisor, Hikmet Ajiyev, were also hosted in Washington by US National Security advisor Jake Sullivan. 

‘We discussed the importance of avoiding further violence and pursuing time-bound and focused negotiations’, Sullivan wrote on Twitter after the meeting. 

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