By Emil Danielyan
Another soldier of the Azerbaijani army has been killed in a skirmish with Armenian forces near Nagorno-Karabakh, reports from Baku said on Monday.
An Azerbaijani television station reported that the 18-year-old soldier died from a bullet wound sustained in what it described as a “truce violation” by the Armenian side in the northern section of the Karabakh frontline. It said the deadly shooting occurred on Saturday and was confirmed by Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry. No further details were reported.
Armenian military sources did not report any fighting along the heavily militarized line of contact east and north of Karabakh over the weekend. Sporadic exchanges of fire from automatic weapons are periodically reported from there by the warring sides, each of them accusing the other of violating the 11-year ceasefire in the conflict zone.
The Azerbaijani military, in particular, claims to suffer casualties on a regular basis. Its previous fatality was reported on September 6.
The ceasefire regime along sections of the Karabakh frontline and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is monitored by representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The most recent OSCE monitoring late last month was interrupted by a skirmish southeast of the disputed territory. Still, truce violations appear to have become less frequent since last spring when some Armenian officials suggested that Baku, which regularly threatens by win back Karabakh by force, be preparing for large-scale military action.
Renewed fighting seems even more unlikely now that the parties are reportedly close to reaching a long-awaited agreement on the resolution of the Karabakh dispute.