2 killed, 4 wounded in renewed Azerbaijan-Armenia clashes
Two Armenian soldiers were killed and three Azerbaijani service personnel were wounded early on Friday in renewed clashes between the rival nations, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting AzerTac.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said that three of its personnel were wounded in attacks in the town of Kelbecer near its border with Armenia.
Two soldiers were wounded when Armenian armed forces launched a kamikaze drone attack on Azerbaijani trenches near the town of Kelbecer from the Vardenis (Basargeçer) province of eastern Armenia, the ministry said early in the day.
Later, the Armenian forces opened fire, injuring one Muhammed Tağıyev who was hospitalized in a military facility, the ministry informed.
“Countermeasures were deployed,” the ministry added. “All responsibility falls on Armenia’s military and political leadership due to their provocations.”
Similarly, Armenia said two of its soldiers were killed and one was wounded when Azerbaijan shelled its positions near the town of Sotk.
The exchange of fire marks another flare-up in tensions between the South Caucasus neighbors, which have been steadily rising since last December and left half a dozen people dead on both sides.
Baku has been accused of blocking the Lachin corridor, the only land route connecting Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region to Armenia.
The pair have been locked in a deadly dispute over the Karabakh enclave – internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but illegally occupied by Armenia for over three decades, which was recently liberated by Azerbaijan – since the 1980s and fought two wars over the territory.
In 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages and settlements from illegal Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended with a Russia-brokered peace agreement.
Azerbaijan said it had set up checkpoints on the short mountainous road over security reasons, citing the transfer of weapons and ammunition to its region, while Yerevan has demanded the U.N. intervene to prevent a “humanitarian catastrophe.”
The Lachin corridor is not meant to block access for civilians and Baku said earlier this week that it sent an aid convoy to its Karabakh region.