Ten Azerbaijani civilians killed in Nagorno-Karabakh clashes as death toll rises & fighting intensifies – President Aliyev
Fierce battles in the ethnic-Armenian-controlled mountainous region continued for the third day in a row, with numerous deaths reported in clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces. But, in Azerbaijan itself, civilians have borne the brunt of border violence, President Ilkham Aliyev has insisted.
"We have had casualties during these two days, including among the civilian population," he said upon receiving credentials from a newly-appointed Pakistani ambassador on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, the number of civilian deaths in our country is growing," Azerbaijan's president alleged. A total of 10 civilians have been killed, including "five members of the same family, [and] two children," he outlined.
Baku and Yerevan have both reported civilian casualties since the outbreak of hostilities along the border of Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday. Both sides – which quickly resorted to heavy weaponry during the initial fighting – have likewise accused each other of indiscriminately targeting non-combatants.
Earlier on Tuesday, officials in Yerevan said at least one person was killed in an Azeri bombardment of the Armenian border town of Vardenis. A drone strike also hit a passenger bus which burnt out completely, but no one was hurt in the incident.
The rising death toll among civilians has caused concern outside the conflict-ridden South Caucasus. The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has urged the warring parties "to take all necessary measures to guarantee the protection and respect of civilian infrastructure and civilian lives," the aid agency said in a statement obtained by Russian media.
UN chief Antonio Guterres also condemned the use of force and regretted "the loss of life and the toll on the civilian population." Echoing calls from other world leaders, he demanded that Baku and Yerevan cease fire and resort to dialogue without delay. The Security Council is poised to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict later today.Also on rt.com UN Security Council to convene for emergency meeting as Nagorno-Karabakh fighting enters third day & Yerevan/Baku exchange threats
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