Just over a week after the Russian-brokered ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, shots have been fired at the border between the two ex-Soviet republics. The governments in Yerevan and Baku accused each other on Friday that the other soldiers opened fire first.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had previously accused the neighboring country of “unspeakable atrocities” during the general UN debate.
Mutilated body of a female soldier
There is “evidence of torture, mutilation of captured or killed soldiers and abuse of prisoners of war,” Pashinyan said in his address to the United Nations on Thursday (local time). The body of an Armenian soldier was “mutilated and videotaped by Azerbaijani soldiers”. Such “unspeakable atrocities” are the “direct result of decades of policies by the Azerbaijani leaders, instilling hatred of Armenians in the country’s society.
On Friday, the Armenian Defense Ministry announced for the first time that Azerbaijan fired on Armenian positions from various locations in the morning. Shortly afterwards, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense announced that Armenia has repeatedly shelled three different areas of the border region since Thursday evening for nine hours. Both sides said they fired back.
Already more than 200 dead soldiers
The conflict, which had been smoldering for a long time, turned violent again last Tuesday. After two days of fighting that killed nearly 200 soldiers, Armenia announced a ceasefire agreement.
The two countries have been arguing for decades over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is largely inhabited by Armenians (see also the video above). According to international law, the Caucasus region belongs to Azerbaijan, from which it seceded in 1991. The conflict escalated into war in 2020, which ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire after six weeks.