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    5. Armenia says forces suffered 'casualties' after Azerbaijani troops opened fire


    Armenia says forces suffered 'casualties' after Azerbaijani troops opened fire

    An Azerbaijani police checkpoint blocks a road in the controlled region of Nagorno-Karabakh on Monday Photo: Emmanuel Dunant/AFP

    Armenia said its forces suffered an unspecified number of casualties “casualties” after Azerbaijani forces opened fire in the border area.

    “There are casualties on the Armenian side as a result of shelling by the Azerbaijani armed forces of a vehicle carrying food for personnel of Armenian positions,” the Armenian Ministry of Defense reported .

    It added that the border was calm as of 4 p.m. local time.

    It was unclear what weapons were used in the alleged incident near Kut, a border city in the east of Armenia. Azerbaijan denies opening fire.

    The clash reportedly came two weeks after Azerbaijani troops attacked and captured Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region of Azerbaijan where ethnic Armenians have ruled the breakaway republic for more than 30 years.

    Azerbaijani police in the controlled region of Nagorno-Karabakh Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

    The lightning attack triggered a mass exodus in which more than 100,000 people, or more than 80 percent of the population of Karabakh, took refuge in Armenia itself.

    The last bus carrying ethnic Armenians from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia has left. on Monday.

    The Azerbaijani government rejected accusations of attacks on civilians and ethnic cleansing, saying it wants ethnic Armenians to stay and reintegrate into Azerbaijani society.

    However, many local residents who fled reported that Azerbaijani troops subjected residential areas and infrastructure to heavy shelling.

    International legal experts cited several factors, including a nine-month siege of the region that left residents deprived of basic necessities before last month's attack.

    meet the standard of “deportation or forcible removal,” which is a military requirement crime.

    Armenian officials have called on the international community to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan amid fears that its President Ilham Aliyev plans to seize a part of southern Armenia called the Zanzegur Corridor.

    Tigran Balayan, Armenian ambassador in the EU, said on Monday: “It is the opinion not only of the Armenian government, but also of many experts, including some EU member states, that an attack on Armenia itself is inevitable.”

    Mr Aliyev intends to meet with Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Armenia, for peace talks with Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, and Charles Michel, President of the European Council, in Granada, Spain, next week.

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