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Nagorno-Karabakh Says Two Azeri Soldiers Killed In Clash


Karabakh Armenian soldiers hold military exercises earlier this week.
The breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh says two Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and another wounded in fighting on the front line of the Armenian-backed region.

It says on its army website that soldiers repelled an assault by an Azerbaijani "sabotage" unit at the northeastern section of the front line and that the Azerbaijanis were driven back, leaving two bodies.

It adds that no Armenians were killed.

Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian told reporters on September 4 that the incident calls for international attention.

"In the current situation, both the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia are ready to respond to any action from the other side, whether it be an armed provocation or diplomatic steps on the international level," he said. "I think the situation has gone so far that the time has come for the international community and mediators to make certain statements, because one of the sides [in the negotiation process] is trying to disrupt it. The Armenian side is ready for negotiations, for a compromise decision."

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry has confirmed its forces suffered casualties but says they occurred while repelling an Armenian "sabotage" attack.

Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a six-year war over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is located within Azerbaijani territory.

A cease-fire in 1994 brought an end to the fighting, but the enclave remains a point of contention between the two sides.

Flare-ups of violence have become increasingly frequent, and the sides frequently offer widely differing casualty figures and accounts of skirmishes.

On August 31, Azerbaijan said two of its soldiers and three Armenians had died.

The Armenian-backed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh denied suffering any losses in that clash.

compiled from agency reports