Azerbaijan reveals losses in clashes with Armenia
Dozens of Azerbaijani soldiers have been killed in the fighting along the border between the two former Soviet states, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
According to the ministry, “50 servicemen of the Armed Forces,” including 42 army soldiers and eight border guards, died while supposedly repelling a “large-scale provocation” launched by Armenia. The statement also mentioned there had been wounded in the clashes but did not reveal their number.
Azerbaijan claims the midnight shelling on Tuesday was provoked by Yerevan, after the defense ministry in Baku accused Armenian “saboteurs” of mining roads and infrastructure on the Azeri side of the border over the weekend.
Yerevan rejected Baku’s accusations and blamed Azerbaijan for launching a sudden attack in seven locations along the border, with artillery and mortar fire, as well as drone strikes targeting “both military and civilian” infrastructure in Armenia.
According to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, 49 Armenian soldiers were killed while repelling the Azeri attack.
Tensions between the two neighbors run high over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The local mostly-ethnically Armenian population sought to declare independence from Azerbaijan in the early 1990s with support from Armenia, sparking a prolonged conflict between the two nations.
In 2020, Baku and Yerevan fought a 44-day war over Nagorno-Karabakh, which saw Azerbaijani troops making gains and eventually ended with a Russian-brokered truce. On Tuesday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry called on both sides to observe the ceasefire and exercise restraint.
In early August, Baku demanded the “demilitarization” of the disputed region while Yerevan accused the Azerbaijani side of pressuring it into abandoning the so-called Lachin Corridor – a mountain path linking its territory to Nagorno-Karabakh.