A view shows aftermath of recent shelling in Nagorno-Karabakh region on Sunday. AFP
Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other on Monday of attacking civilian areas on a ninth day of fighting, the deadliest in the South Caucasus region for more than 25 years.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the latest outbreak of war over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountain enclave that belongs to Azerbaijan under international law but is populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
Nagorno-Karabakh said Azeri forces launched rocket strikes on its capital Stepanakert, while Azerbaijan said Armenia fired missiles at several towns outside the breakaway region.
A view shows aftermath of recent shelling during the ongoing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Sunday. AFP
"The enemy is firing rockets at Stepanakert and Shushi. The Defence Army response will not be long in coming," said Vahram Pogosyan, a spokesman for the Nagorno-Karabakh leader.
"Tense fights are in progress," said Armenian defence ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan.
Azerbaijan said that Armenia had been launching missile attacks against densely populated areas and civilian infrastructure in Azerbaijan. The Azeri defence ministry said its radar system recorded that launches were made from the territory of Armenia.
"It is fake and complete misinformation that Armenia opened fire on Azeri strongholds," said Artrsun Hovhannisyan, an Armenian defence ministry official.
The clashes are the worst since the 1990s, when some 30,000 people were killed, and are spreading beyond the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. They have raised international concern about stability in the South Caucasus, where pipelines carry Azeri oil and gas to world markets.
The conflict threatens to drag in other regional powers as Azerbaijan is supported by Turkey, while Armenia has a defence pact with Russia.Reuters
Yerevan, Capital of Armenia, said Nagorno-Karabakh's main city Stepanakert, which has been under artillery fire since Friday, was hit again on Sunday and AFP journalists said there were regular explosions and smoke rising in parts of the city.
It is so unfortunate that the world is going towards more deadly wars as both the parties, Azerbaijan and Armenia, didn’t respect the Moscow cease-fire agreement.
The agreed halt to fighting that has raged for two weeks entered into force at noon on Saturday and was approved by Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in marathon Russia-brokered talks in Moscow.
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