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Fighting Eases On Armenia-Azerbaijan Border


ARMENIA -- A view shows a house, which locals said was damaged during a recent shelling by Azerbaijani forces, in armed clashes on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, in the village of Aygepar, Tavush Province, July 15, 2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan reported no serious ceasefire violations along their border on Friday after several days of heavy fighting that left at least 16 soldiers dead and dozens of others wounded.

The Armenian military said late in the afternoon Azerbaijani forces only fired small arms at its positions in Tavush province, the scene of the fighting, and did not targeted local border villages in the past day.

“No artillery or other heavy weapons were used,” a military spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisian, told a news briefing in Ijevan, Tavush’s administrative center.

Hovannisian said that “tension has eased considerably.” “In essence, things are calm and there is no gunfire right now,” he said.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry spokesman, Vagif Dargahli, also described the situation in Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district bordering Tavush as “calm.” The Armenian army has stopped shelling Azerbaijani villages but is “continuing to shoot at our frontline positions,” he said, according to Azerbaijani news agencies.

Azerbaijan -- A local woman shows damage in her house after shelling by Armenian forces in the Tovuz region, July 14, 2020
Azerbaijan -- A local woman shows damage in her house after shelling by Armenian forces in the Tovuz region, July 14, 2020

The hostilities broke out at a Tavush-Tovuz border section on Sunday in still unclear circumstances. Each side accused the other of attacking its army posts in the mountainous area.

At least 12 Azerbaijani servicemen, including a general and a colonel, were killed in the clashes. The Armenian army reported four combat deaths within its ranks.

Hovannisian said 36 other Armenian soldiers were wounded in the clashes. Only ten of them are currently in hospital, he said, adding that one soldier remains in a critical condition.

ARMENIA -- A woman stays inside a house, which locals said was damaged during a recent shelling by Azerbaijani forces, in armed clashes on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, in the village of Aygepar, Tavush Province, July 15, 2020
ARMENIA -- A woman stays inside a house, which locals said was damaged during a recent shelling by Azerbaijani forces, in armed clashes on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, in the village of Aygepar, Tavush Province, July 15, 2020

The provincial town of Berd and several Tavush villages were shelled by the Azerbaijani side during what was the worst flare-up in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone in years. Many local residents spent nights in basements and bomb shelters. A resident of the village of Chinari was seriously wounded in Thursday in what Armenian officials described as an Azerbaijani drone attack on his car.

The mayor of another Tavush village, Nerkin Karmiraghbyur, told reporters on Friday that about a dozen local houses were seriously damaged by Azerbaijani artillery fire. Other locals said some of the women and children living in the community were evacuated for security reasons earlier this week.

Azerbaijani authorities have reported, for their part, Armenian mortar and howitzer fire on Azerbaijani villages located across the heavily militarized border.

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