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Azerbaijan celebrates partial retreat of Nagorno-Karabakh forces but Armenia says it was a ‘trick’ that killed 200 Azeris.

Azerbaijan celebrates partial retreat of Nagorno-Karabakh forces but Armenia says it was a ‘trick’ that killed 200 Azeris.
The information war between Armenia and Azerbaijan is as keenly fought as the one on the battlefields of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh. On Monday evening, both sides celebrated purported successes while downplaying setbacks.

The conflicting accounts featured an Azerbaijani report on the capture of three villages and Armenian claims of eliminating 200 enemy troops.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry said that the forces of Nagorno-Karabakh successfully implemented a “tactical trick” on Monday, which allowed them to deliver significant losses to Azerbaijan’s military.

According to the ministry, the fighters imitated retreat from their battle positions in one of the key areas on the contact line. And when the Azerbaijani soldiers moved in to occupy the ground that they thought was abandoned, they walked straight into a trap.

An Azerbaijani unit was subject to intensive artillery fire and lost some 200 soldiers before fleeing, the Armenian side insisted.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry, which earlier tweeted about the enemy’s retreat, hasn’t commented on any losses among its servicemen.

Almost at the same time as the Armenian announcement, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev tweeted that his country’s military had “liberated” three villages in Nagorno-Karabakh and gained control of several strategic heights in the region. Aliyev called the Nagorno-Karabakh campaign “successful” for Baku.  

The fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh – a mainly Armenian-populated region regarded as part of Azerbaijan under international law, which declared independence and remains under Yerevan's control since a 1994 ceasefire – erupted a week ago.

The South Caucasus neighbors blame each other for initiating the violence and striking civilian targets, while regularly reporting losses on the enemy’s side and their own military victories.   

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Yerevan has vowed to do everything to defend ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh from an Azerbaijani attack, while Baku insists that it’s working for peace, which, it repeatedly says, would only be possible if all Armenian troops withdrew from the region. 

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