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YEREVAN -- Armenia's Defense Ministry says four Armenian soldiers have been killed in fighting in Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The ministry said in a statement that the deaths were the "result of fighting with an Azerbaijani armed reconnaissance group."

Reports say one Azerbaijani soldier was later found dead on the battlefield.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian blamed Baku for the overnight action in Nagorno-Karabakh's Martakert region, calling it "a pre-planned action" intended to scuttle peace negotiations.

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokeman Elkhan Polukhov, responding to Nalbandian's statement said, "It was not within the authority of Mr. Nalbandian to comment on matters, the cause of which lies in the continuing occupation of Azerbaijani lands."

The fighting follows a meeting between the presidents of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan that took place in St. Petersburg on June 17 on the sidelines of a major economic forum hosted by the Russian city.
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