Dozens of people were killed’ the next day as they entered the Armenia-Azerbaijan war

On Monday, Azerbaijani and Armenian forces fought for a second day, after which heavy fighting left dozens dead, raising fears of fighting between longtime enemies.

Dozens of people were killed’ the next day as they entered the Armenia-Azerbaijan war

Defense officials from both countries have confirmed that fierce clashes continue on Sunday with the fronts in the Nagorno-Karabakh ethnic Armenian region of Azerbaijan.

The separatists said Monday that 15 more of their fighters had been killed, bringing the total number of deaths on both sides to 39.

With all sides blaming each other for the latest confrontation, world leaders have quietly insisted that it is the result of fears of a large-scale conflict that could escalate into a regional power between Russia and Turkey.

Former Soviet Armenia and Azerbaijan have been embroiled in the Nagorno-Karabakh regional conflict for decades, with deadly battles being fought’ earlier this year and in 2016.

The region declared independence after a war in the early 1990s that killed 30,000 people but was not recognized’ by any country, including Armenia, and is still recognized by the international community. Part of Azerbaijan.

The Karabakh ministry said Monday that 32 of its fighters had been killed’ in fresh clashes. Earlier, seven civilian deaths were reported’ including an Azerbaijani family of five Armenians and a woman and child.

Azerbaijan has not yet announced any military casualties, but Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Shushan Stepanyan claimed that "dozens of bodies of Azerbaijani soldiers" were lying in the area and returned overnight.

He said heavy fighting continued along the front lines on Monday morning, claiming that the Armenian army had won the positions it had won in Azerbaijan on Sunday.

But Baku claimed further progress.

Azerbaijani forces are "strengthening enemy positions using rocket artillery and aviation ... and they have gained several strategic positions around the village of Talysh," the defense ministry said.

"The enemy is retreating," he added.

- For Marshall -

Armenian military officials say Azerbaijani troops continue to use heavy artillery to attack rebel strongholds, while Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry accuses separatist forces of shelling civilian targets in the city of Tartar. ۔

Baku claims to have killed 550 separatist soldiers, denying an Armenian report.

This increase has given rise to a spirit of patriotism in both countries.

"We have been waiting for this day for a long time. The fighting should not stop until we force Armenia to return our lands," Vidadi Alekperov, a 39-year-old waiter in Baku, told AFP. "

"I will gladly go to the battlefield."

In Yerevan, Vardan Harutyunyan, 67, said Armenia was expecting the attack.

"The (Karabakh) question can only be resolved militarily. We are not afraid of any war," he said.

Fighting between Muslim Azerbaijan and Christian-majority Armenia threatens to join a military alliance with regional players Russia, Yerevan and Turkey, which support Baku.

Armenia accuses Turkey of meddling in the conflict and sending troops to the battlefield.

France, Germany, Italy, the United States, the European Union and Russia have all called for a ceasefire.

Armenia and Karabakh announced martial law and military mobilization on Sunday, while Azerbaijan imposed military rule and curfews in major cities.

Negotiations to resolve the conflict - one of the worst since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 - have been largely stalled’ since the 1994 ceasefire agreement.

International brokers need to step up their efforts to stem the uptrend, analysts told AFP on Sunday.

France, Russia and the United States have mediated peace efforts as "Minsk Group" but the last major push for a peace deal ended in 2010.


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