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Azerbaijani Troops Kill Armenian Soldier In Border Clash

Azerbaijani troops have killed an Armenian soldier in the latest border clash between the arch-foes, Armenia said September 3.

Armenia is locked in a decades-long conflict with Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan.

The 40-year-old Armenian serviceman Aik Tevonian was killed overnight as a result of Azerbaijani shelling along the northeastern border, Armenian defense ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said.

Hovhannisyan accused Azerbaijan of multiple ceasefire violations over the last several days, some using large-caliber artillery.

"Last night, Azerbaijan shelled 20 Armenian villages and only stopped shelling after Armenian forces returned fire," he said.

"Two Armenian soldiers and two civilians were wounded."

The surge in the violence coincided with military drills launched by the Armenian military.

Armenia on September 2 accused Azerbaijan of deliberately escalating tensions on the border in an "attempt to thwart Karabakh peace talks."

Ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Yerevan seized control of the territory during a 1990s war. Despite years of negotiations, the two countries have not signed a final peace deal to cement a tenuous 1994 ceasefire.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax