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Armenia Threatens Retaliatory Strikes Against Azerbaijan

Armenia has threatened to make "retaliatory" artillery and rocket strikes against Azerbaijani forces after Armenian soldiers and civilians were killed in the past two days.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian told a government commission on September 26 that Azerbaijan had committed a "blatant violation of the cease-fire" signed in 1994 to end a bloody conflict over the disputed Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

He added that Armenia is "afraid of war but it is not afraid of fighting."

Sarkisian's comments came hours after Armenia says a rocket attack by Azerbaijani forces killed four soldiers at a military base in northeastern Armenia.

Armenia says three civilians were also killed on September 24 by Azerbaijani artillery fire in Armenia's Tavush region.

Armenia's Defense Ministry said in a statement on September 26 that "In order to quell the enemy's [military] actions.... Armenian armed forces will be hereafter using proportionate means of artillery and rocket striking."

Armenia and Azerbaijan regularly exchange fire along their shared border and across the volatile front line of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is populated by ethnic Armenians.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax