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Azerbaijan: Soldier Killed In Ethnic Armenian Attack

10 October 2005 -- Azerbaijan's military said today that an Azerbaijani soldier was killed during a firefight with ethnic Armenian forces near the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Defense Ministry spokesman Ilgar Verdiev said the 19-year-old conscript was killed on 9 October in the gunfire exchange on the cease-fire line that separates Azerbaijani and Armenian-backed troops.

Verdiev said the Armenian forces started the shooting, and Azerbaijani forces responded. Armenian officials could not be immediately be reached for comment.

Nagorno-Karabakh and swaths of surrounding territory inside Azerbaijan have been under control of ethnic Armenians since a six-year war against Azerbaijan ended with a 1994 cease-fire.

The enclave's status remains unresolved, and tensions remain high along the cease-fire line with both sides regularly exchanging fire.