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Azerbaijani, Armenian Forces Trade More Mortar Fire, Sniper Shooting

Ethnic Armenian and Azerbaijani forces traded more mortar fire and sniper shooting as tensions persisted around the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Neither side reported any injuries in the violence, which occurred early on April 23 along northern sections of the so-called Line of Contact.

Sporadic shooting occurs regularly in Nagorno-Karabakh, but earlier this month, the two countries came the closest they’ve come to all-out war in more than two decades.

The mountainous region is located within Azerbaijan, but was seized by ethnic Armenian forces in the early 1990s after interethnic bloodletting erupted into full-scale war.

More than 30,000 died, and hundreds of thousands were displaced before a 1994 cease-fire took hold.

The dispute has hindered economic growth in the entire South Caucasus, home to important trade routes and key oil and gas pipelines.

With reporting by Interfax and TASS