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Armenia Says Six Of Its Soldiers Killed In Latest Clashes With Azerbaijan

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian

Armenia says six of its soldiers were killed in renewed border clashes with Azerbaijan earlier this week -- the worst fighting since the two South Caucasus nations fought a 44-day war over Nagorno-Karabakh a year ago.

Azerbaijan has said seven of its soldiers were killed and 10 others wounded in the November 16 fighting, for which the sides blamed each other.

In a statement on November 19, the Armenian Defense Ministry gave the names of five servicemen who died in the clashes, including one officer. It said the identity of another dead soldier had yet to be established.

The ministry earlier reported the death of one soldier and said that communication with 24 other servicemen had been lost, while 13 others were taken prisoner by Azerbaijani forces.

“Intensive work with the mediation and participation of the Russian side is under way to repatriate soldiers who were taken prisoner or went missing as a result of the fighting,” the ministry said on November 19, adding that the situation along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border remained “relatively stable” through the morning.

After the November 16 clashes, Yerevan and Baku agreed to halt hostilities at their border. The violence renewed international calls for the two neighbors to engage in a process of delimitating and demarcating their Soviet-era border.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on November 18 that a Russian proposal on the “preparatory stage” of the border delimitation and demarcation process was acceptable to Yerevan.

The situation along the border has been tense since the Armenia-Azerbaijan war in September and November 2020 in which at least 6,500 people were killed.

The conflict ended with a Russia-brokered cease-fire that granted Baku control of parts of the region as well as adjacent territories occupied by Armenians. Some 2,000 Russian troops were deployed in the area as part of the truce accord.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but had been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since the end of a separatist war in 1994.

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