Yerevan – (AFP)
Gunfire in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday left at least three people dead and one wounded, according to Armenian officials in this region of the Caucasus disputed between separatists and Azerbaijan.
Armenian authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said in a statement that in the morning a group of the Azerbaijani army opened fire on a police car belonging to the separatist administration.
The same source indicated that three policemen were killed, explaining that another person was shot in the chest and taken to hospital.
For its part, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry denied the account, confirming that the shooting occurred after an attempt to intercept a vehicle suspected of transporting weapons from Armenia to the Baku-controlled Karabakh region.
“They opened fire on Azerbaijani soldiers. The firing resulted in deaths and injuries on both sides,” the ministry said, without elaborating.
The same source said the accident occurred on the road connecting the city of Lisakor (Dorshu in Azerbaijan) with the Armenian separatist capital of Stepanakert.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry described Orbijan’s explanations as “ridiculous”, noting that no evidence of arms transfers was provided.
Since mid-December, Azerbaijani activists, who claim to be environmentalists, have blocked the main road linking Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh, known as the “Lachin Corridor”, insisting their action is a protest against illegal mining.
When the Soviet Union dissolved in the early 1990s, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a war for control of Karabakh that resulted in 30,000 deaths and ended with Armenia’s victory.
Another conflict erupted in the fall of 2020, killing 6,500 people and allowing Baku to reclaim large swaths of territory.
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