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New clashes spark off between Armenia and Azerbaijan before ceasefire comes into force

Yerevan/Baku: Armenia and Azerbaijan engaged in a new conflict before the ceasefire that was established with mediation from Russia could be imposed. Both nations have accused each other of violating the ceasefire and launching attacks. Armenia has blamed Azerbaijan for striking Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. On the other side, the Azerbaijan government has alleged that Armenia’s missile attacks have killed nine people and wounded over 30. Therefore, the two-week-long battle that erupted between the two countries may intensify significantly.  

On Friday, the first round of talks was held between the two warring sides in the Russian capital Moscow. The discussions that started due to the initiative from Russian President Vladimir Putin are believed the first effort towards finding a resolution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan war. The Foreign Ministers of both the nations were present during talks at Moscow along with their Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. After negotiations that lasted for nearly 10 hours, Foreign Ministers of both countries reached a consensus on a ceasefire for exchange of prisoners of war and bodies of those killed. On Saturday morning, however, both nations started accusing each other of violating the ceasefire before it could even be enforced. Therefore, Armenia and Azerbaijan are not willing for even a temporary ceasefire, making evident the effort has failed. Russia has not given a reaction on the matter.

Armenia has alleged that the Azerbaijan Army invaded civilian areas in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. Also, Armenian sources have said heavy casualties were suffered in the Saturday morning attacks. On the other hand, Azerbaijan accused Armenia of launching missiles in the city of Ganja. The Azerbaijan government has stated the attacks had claimed the lives of nine people and injured 33. Ganja is the second-largest city in Azerbaijan and also where Turkey was revealed to have deployed its F-16 Viper fighter jets a few days ago. Besides, Azerbaijan has also said that its Mingachevir power plant had come under an attack.

Meanwhile, reports suggested that more than 70,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and displace from Nagorno-Karabakh due to the ongoing war. Given the recent developments, protests are being held in Europe and Latin America in support of Armenia. 

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