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Armenia/Azerbaijan: Countries' Officials Trade Accusations

Yerevan, 6 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - Officials from Armenia and Azerbaijan have again blamed each other for shooting attacks across their common border and near the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia's Defense Ministry yesterday accused Azerbaijani forces of firing on Armenian positions in the southern and northeastern sections of the border over the weekend. It reported no casualties and said the gunfire stopped shortly after Armenian forces returned fire.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said Armenian troops opened fire last night from positions within Nagorno-Karabakh and in other locations. The Azerbaijanis reported no casualties.

Our correspondent in Yerevan says officials in Nagorno-Karabakh report their forces killed seven of what they called "infiltrators" over the weekend. Officials in Stepanakert claim Azerbaijan sent the group into the disputed enclave.

Meanwhile, 12 Azerbaijani political parties signed a statement today calling for the U.N. Security Council to hold a special meeting to discuss the border violence which erupted last month.