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Azerbaijan, Ethnic Armenians Trade Blame Over Violence In Nagorno-Karabakh.

Karabakh President Arayik Harutiunian (center) held what appeared to be an emergency meeting with Defense Army commander Kamo Vartanian and other security officials.

Karabakh President Arayik Harutiunian (center) held what appeared to be an emergency meeting with Defense Army commander Kamo Vartanian and other security officials.

BAKU -- Ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijan have accused each other of violating a cease-fire in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, with both sides claiming casualties.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said in a statement on August 3 that Armenian troops opened gunfire at Azerbaijani Army positions in the district of Lacin, which has been under the control of Russian peacekeepers since November 2020, killing an Azerbaijani conscript Anar Kazimov.

De facto ethnic Armenian military authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh, in turn, accused Azerbaijan of a major cease-fire violation with the use of grenade launchers and drones, claiming that two ethnic-Armenian soldiers were killed, and 14 others wounded in separate attacks.

The breakaway region's separatist leader, Arayik Haratiunian, signed a decree on partial mobilization.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Defense Army said later on August 3 that the situation was "relatively stable" as of 6 p.m. local time after working with Russian peacekeepers, who have been stationed in the region since the 2020 cease-fire following a deadly six-week war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army had tried to seize a hill on a mountain range overlooking Lacin and Kalbacar to establish a new position.

It said Azerbaijani forces conducted a "revenge" operation and took back the positions along with others, destroying Armenian armed elements in the process.

It also issued videos showing what appear to be military vehicles catching fire after being hit by air strikes.

Armenian authorities have yet to comment on the situation.

Armenia lost control over parts of the breakaway region and seven adjacent districts as part of the Russian-brokered cease-fire. An estimated 2,000 Russian troops have been deployed to monitor the situation.

Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been under ethnic Armenian control for nearly three decades, is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

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