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Village Kindergarten Evacuated After ‘Azeri Gunfire’


Armenia - An Armenian soldier on the border with Azerbaijan, 22Aug2011.

Armenia - An Armenian soldier on the border with Azerbaijan, 22Aug2011.

A kindergarten in an Armenian border village was evacuated on Wednesday after being reportedly hit by automatic gunfire from nearby Azerbaijani army positions.

The Defense Ministry in Yerevan said Azerbaijani forces fired at the village of Dovegh in the northeastern Tavush region and Armenian troops stationed outside it.

“The village kindergarten and a truck parked nearby were damaged,” the ministry said in a statement. “For security considerations, the kindergarten children and staff were evacuated.”

The Armenian side returned fire and suffered no casualties, added the statement.

Dovegh is located at the westernmost section of Armenia’s heavily militarized border with Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry accused Armenian troops of violating the ceasefire in that area on Tuesday but reported no fighting there on Wednesday. It also alleged Armenian truce violations along the main Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” around Nagorno-Karabakh.

Deadly skirmishes between the warring sides seem to have become more frequent in the last few years, prompting growing concern from international mediators trying to broker a peaceful solution to the Karabakh conflict. The U.S., Russian and French mediators have proposed over the past year draft mechanisms for joint investigations of such incidents. The parties have yet to reach agreement on the issue.
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