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Heavy Fighting Continues Around Karabakh


Nagorno-Karabakh -- A screenshot of an official Armenian video of fighting around Karabakh, October 7, 2020.

Heavy fighting continued around Nagorno-Karabakh in the early hours of Wednesday despite international efforts to restore a ceasefire regime in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict zone.

Military officials in Yerevan said Karabakh’s Armenian-backed army repelled another large-scale Azerbaijani attack on its positions at the southernmost section of the Karabakh “line of contact.” The area bordering Iran has been the epicenter of hostilities in recent days.

Shushan Stepanian, a spokeswoman for Armenia’s Defense Ministry, said Karabakh Armenian forces killed scores of Azerbaijani soldiers and destroyed two dozen tanks and other armored vehicles with heavy artillery fire.

“At 6:30 a.m., after another rocket-artillery fire, the remnants of three oversized enemy brigades fled the battlefield in panic,” Stepanian wrote on Facebook.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry also reported overnight fighting and exchanges of artillery fire “along the entire frontline.” It said Azerbaijani troops sought to “build on successes achieved in previous days.”

Nagorno-Karabakh - A school in Stepanakert damaged by shelling, October 6, 2020.
Nagorno-Karabakh - A school in Stepanakert damaged by shelling, October 6, 2020.

The reported fighting was accompanied by renewed Azerbaijani shelling of the Karabakh capital Stepanakert which continued through the night. An RFE/RL correspondent in the region reported that the city was again rocked by powerful explosions.

Dozens of rockets had already landed in Stepanakert as well as the nearby town of Shushi earlier this week, causing more deaths and devastation.

According to local officials, 19 Karabakh civilians have been killed and 80 others wounded since the September 27 outbreak of the large-scale hostilities. The fighting has also left two residents of Armenian villages close to the Azerbaijani border dead.

For its part, Azerbaijan has reported extensive Armenian shelling of Azerbaijani cities and villages. Authorities in Baku said on Tuesday that 27 Azerbaijani civilians have died as a result.

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