Caucasus Conflict Reignites After 22 Years

Azerbaijan says Armenia killed 12 soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 2, 2016 8:00 AM CDT
Caucasus Conflict Reignites
A convoy of Azerbaijani tanks moves in the direction of Agdam, Azerbaijan.    (AP Photo/Abbas Atilay)

Heavy fighting has broken out between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces along the front lines of the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region, reportedly killing at least one child in what one official called the worst clashes since 1994. Officials from each former Soviet republic blamed the other Saturday for the fighting that began overnight, the AP reports. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan said they had inflicted heavy losses on the other. David Babayan, a spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh's separatist president, said a boy of about 12 was killed and two other children wounded in a Grad missile barrage by Azerbaijani forces. Azerbaijan says 12 of its soldiers were killed and around 100 Armenian forces were killed or wounded.

Vladimir Putin has urged all sides to cease firing and "show restraint," a Kremlin spokesman says. Nagorno-Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan, has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military since 1994. The Armenian Defense Ministry says Azerbaijan used aircraft, tanks, and artillery to try to make inroads into Nagorno-Karabkh and that "Azerbaijani authorities bear all responsibility for the unprecedentedly supercharged situation." The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry says the fighting began when Armenian forces fired mortars and large-caliber artillery shells across the front line. (More Nagorno-Karabakh stories.)

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