Azerbaijan says three killed in fighting with separatist region

BAKU: Three Azerbaijani troops have been killed in the past 24 hours in fighting with the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said Monday.


Vagif Dargyakhly, the ministry’s spokesman, told The Associated Press that the rebels were shelling Azerbaijian’s positions and front-line villages despite a cease-fire his government unilaterally announced. He said the Karabakh militia used large-caliber mortar and grenade launchers overnight.

Nagorno-Karabakh has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military since a war ended in 1994 with no resolution of the region’s status.

Fighting flared up there over the weekend, with a boy and at least 30 troops killed on both sides on Saturday, the worst fighting since the end of a full-scale war in 1994.

Artsrun Ovannisian, spokesman for the Armenian defense ministry, said on Monday the Karabakh militia advanced overnight, “liberating new positions.”

Self-proclaimed officials in Karabakh said fighting intensified in the morning in the southeast and northeast with the Azerbaijani troops using Grad multiple grenade launchers.