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Nagorno-Karabakh: Breakaway Region Holds Vote Amid Baku-Yerevan Tensions

STEPANAKERT -- Separatist authorities are staging a presidential election in Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian-controlled region of Azerbaijan.

Incumbent Bako Sahakian is facing a challenge from his main opponent, retired army general Vitaly Balasanian.

Azerbaijan's government has condemned the poll as "illegitimate" and warned of repercussions against foreigners who come to the territory to observe the voting.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been in conflict for around three decades over Nagorno-Karabakh, with a fragile cease-fire in place since 1994.

At least 10 soldiers from both sides have been reported killed in a series of incidents along the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and the Nagorno-Karabakh border in the past several weeks.

The Armenian leadership's declaration of Nagorno-Karabakh's independence has never been recognized by another country.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL's Armenian and Azerbaijani services and AFP

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