Armenia, Azerbaijan trade blame over deadly border clashes

Armenia and Azerbaijan have traded blame for clashes that erupted along the countries’ border, in what is the deadliest fighting between the rival neighbours since their 2020 war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
According to Armenia’s defence ministry, the hostilities erupted in the early hours of Tuesday morning when Azerbaijani forces unleashed cross-border attacks using “artillery, mortars, drones and large-calibre rifles” that killed at least 49 Armenian troops.
But Azerbaijan denied instigating the fighting, claiming its troops had responded to “large-scale provocations” by the Armenian military.
It said Armenian forces had fired at Azerbaijani military positions in the Dashkasan, Kalbajar and Lachin regions, resulting in unspecified casualties and damage to military infrastructure, after building up stocks of weapons along the border and attempting to mine Azerbaijani positions.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken to Armenia’s prime minister and Azerbaijan’s president, urging them to cease hostilities.
Leaders say they are working to ’stabilise’ the situation.

Al Jazeera’s Victoria Gatenby reports.

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