Artsakh's civilian areas, including capital Stepanakert, also under Azerbaijani shelling, official says

Artsakh's civilian areas, including capital Stepanakert, also under Azerbaijani shelling, official says

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in a tweet that the aggression seemed to be pre-planned, and "constitutes large-scale provocation against regional peace & security".

The president said that the fallen among Azerbaijan's civilians and military would be avenged and that Azerbaijan would defend its territory.

A photo released by the Armenian defense ministry appears to show an Azerbaijani tank being destroyed on September 27, 2020.

The enclave has a majority Armenian population but is located entirely inside Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan said it had captured seven of its Armenian-controlled villages, a claim Yerevan denied. Hikmet Hajiyev, a senior adviser to Aliyev, accused Armenian forces of launching "deliberate and targeted" attacks along the front line.

Fighting erupted anew Sunday between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Aliyev, Azerbaijan's president, said enemy fire had killed and wounded both servicemen and civilians, and that "shedding of their blood will not go unpunished".

"In order to suppress the combat activity of the armed forces of Armenia and ensure the safety of the civilian population, the command of the Azerbaijan Army made a decision to launch a counter-offensive operation of troops along the entire front".

Meanwhile, talks to resolve the long lasting conflict have been largely stalled since 1994 when the ceasefire agreement was inked.

Turkey said it was talking to members of the Minsk group, which mediates between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Armenia has once again proven that it is the biggest obstacle to peace and stability in the region, the statement said, adding that Turkey will steadfastly stand with Azerbaijan.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "extremely concerned" and called on the sides to stop fighting and return to talks.

Ethnic Armenian separatists seized the Nagorny Karabakh region from Baku in a 1990s war that claimed 30,000 lives.

While Armenia and Azerbaijan trade accusations for the recent confrontation on the border, both sides have reported civilian deaths.

Karabakh's presidency said Azerbaijan started "active bombing" along the frontlines and of civilian targets, including in the region's main city Stepanakert.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Armenian people to take hold of their future against the "leadership that is dragging them into a catastrophe". At least 16 people were killed in clashes in July.

"The Trump administration also needs to step up its diplomatic efforts, together with fellow OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] Minsk Group co-chairs France and Russian Federation, to seek a peaceful resolution and to support confidence-building measures, Biden said".

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