A ceasefire has been in force in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since November, but it is repeatedly broken. An Azerbaijani soldier is said to have been killed and the government in Baku is threatening Armenia.
According to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense, a soldier was killed in a skirmish between Azerbaijani armed forces and pro-Armenian fighters. Another army member was injured, the ministry said on Monday. Accordingly, the pro-Armenian fighters had opened fire on the Azerbaijani soldiers. Six of the attackers were killed.
The incident took place near the village of Agdam in an area bordering the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, the statement said. The ministry threatened “decisive action” should there be further attacks.
Armistice in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
The warring neighboring states of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been in a conflict over the South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh for decades. After weeks of fierce fighting with more than 6,000 dead, the two sides signed a ceasefire agreement brokered by Moscow in November, which resulted in severe territorial losses for Armenia. In November Azerbaijan took control of Agdam and two other territories previously occupied by Armenia.
Azerbaijan recently announced that at least six soldiers had been killed since the ceasefire agreement was signed on November 10. Overall, however, the ceasefire, compliance with which is monitored by Russian soldiers, holds.
Nagorno-Karabakh had unilaterally declared its independence during the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was followed by a war with 30,000 dead in the 1990s. The self-proclaimed republic is still not recognized internationally and is considered part of Azerbaijan under international law. Most of it is inhabited by Armenians.