BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) - More than 20 Azerbaijani and Armenian soldiers have been killed in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh since July, an Azerbaijan government official said Thursday. Armenia disputed the claim.
Eldar Sabirogly, a spokesman for the Azerbaijan defense ministry, said at least 15 Armenian soldiers died during that period. He said the number of Azerbaijani soldiers was about half that number.
However, officials with Armenia’s defense ministry said that Armenia had lost no soldiers during that period.
Officials in Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies within Azerbaijan, also said their forces had seen no losses.
Both sides routinely accuse the other of breaking a cease-fire and try to highlight one another’s military losses.
Armenian and ethnic Armenian forces drove Azerbaijan out of Nagorno-Karabakh in one of the bloodiest conflicts of the post-Soviet era. Some 30,000 people were killed and about 1 million were driven from their homes before the cease-fire was reached in 1994.
The lack of resolution on the region’s status has held up development in the strategic South Caucasus region and raised fears of a new war between the two countries.