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Armenia Accuses Azerbaijan Of Killing Soldier

Nagorno-Karabakh President Arkady Gukasian (left) and Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian watch military exercises in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2004 (ITAR-TASS) September 25, 2006 -- Armenia today blamed an Azerbaijani sniper for shooting dead an Armenian soldier over the weekend.

The Armenian Defense Ministry called the killing of Garnik Melian on September 23 a clear violation of the cease-fire with Azerbaijan.

Baku has not responded to the accusation.

The two countries are at odds over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian territory inside Azerbaijan.


The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Click on the image to view an enlarged map of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone

In February 1988, the local assembly in Stepanakert, the local capital of the Azerbaijani region of NAGORNO-KARABAKH, passed a resolution calling for unification of the predominantly ethnic-Armenian region with Armenia. There were reports of violence against local Azeris, followed by attacks against Armenians in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait. In 1991-92, Azerbaijani forces launched an offensive against separatist forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, but the Armenians counterattacked and by 1993-94 had seized almost all of the region, as well as vast areas around it. About 600,000 Azeris were displaced and as many as 25,000 people were killed before a Russian-brokered cease-fire was imposed in May 1994.

CHRONOLOGY: For an annotated timeline of the fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh in 1988-94 and the long search for a permanent settlement to the conflict, click here.

Click on the icon to view images of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (Flash required)

To view an archive of all of RFE/RL's coverage of Nagorno-Karabakh, click here.