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Armenia Arrests Head Of Organization On Coup Suspicion

Armenia President Robert Kocharian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held talks on a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement in Minsk, November 28 (official website) December 10, 2006 -- Authorities in Armenia have reportedly detained the head of the organization For The Defense Of Liberated Territories on suspicion of plotting a coup against the government.

One of Zhirair Sefilian's associates, Armen Aganian, says he was arrested December 9.

Sefilian, a Lebanese national, commanded an Armenian battalion during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. His organization opposes any concessions in the peace process with Baku.

(Reuters, AP)

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.

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