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Azerbaijan: Armenian, Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Officials Deny Report Of Attack

Prague, 7 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh defense officials today denied a statement made by Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry that ethnic Armenian forces attacked an Azerbaijani military outpost over the weekend. Early today, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said two Azerbaijani soldiers and five Armenian troops were killed on 5 July in a border clash in the Fizuli region, an area separating Azerbaijani military installations and posts of the Nagorno-Karabakh defense forces.

But Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh defense officials today told RFE/RL that the incident did not occur.

Nagorno-Karabakh was seized by ethnic Armenians after fighting that ended in 1994. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia continue to claim the enclave is theirs. Sporadic fighting continues in the area and incursions across the cease-fire line are common.