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Azerbaijani Army Officer Killed In Nagorno-Karabakh Gunbattle

Azerbaijani officials say one of their army officers has been killed as a result of a shoot-out along the contact line with Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry said in a December 7 statement that Lieutenant Abdulla Mollayev had been severely injured in the clash and died later in a hospital.

It was not clear from the statement when the shoot-out took place.

But the ministry statement comes three days after the separatist leadership of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh said one of its soldiers had been killed by what they called "Azerbaijan's sabotage and reconnaissance group."

Armenian-backed separatists seized the mainly ethnic Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh during a war in the early 1990s that killed some 30,000 people.

Despite a cease-fire in the frozen conflict, there has been a growing number of gunbattles along the Nagorno-Karabakh contact line in recent years.

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