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Armenia Says Civilians Killed By 'Azerbaijani Gunfire' Near Border

  • RFE/RL's Armenian Service

Armenia has called on international organizations to get involved in the situation along the border with Azerbaijan, where Yerevan says three civilians were killed and two wounded by Azerbaijani gunfire on September 24.

Ombudsman Karen Andreasian warned in a statement on September 25 that "as there is no adequate reaction by the international community to the killings of civilians in Armenia's Tavush region bordering with Azerbaijan, [Armenia’s] only choice would be a counterattack to defend itself."

Andreasian named the UN and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as organizations that should engage in the current hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, for its part, said on September 24 that an Azerbaijani woman in Azerbaijan's Qazax district near the Armenian border had been wounded by Armenian gunfire the previous day.

It added that its soldiers have been ordered not to fire on civilians.

Baku's Defense Ministry also blamed Yerevan for deploying military facilities in residential areas and said all responsibility for casualties among Armenian civilians is on the Armenian government.

Baku and Yerevan have been locked in conflict over Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh for a quarter century.

Armenia-backed separatists seized the mainly ethnic Armenian-populated region during a war in the early 1990s that killed some 30,000 people.

International diplomatic efforts to settle the conflict have brought little progress.