Azerbaijan, Armenia accuse each other of violating new ceasefire agreement
The truce agreed on Oct. 17 came into force at midnight (2000 GMT) after a week-old Russian-brokered ceasefire failed to halt the worst fighting in the South Caucasus since the 1990s.
The Azerbaijani defense ministry said: "The enemy fired at the vicinity of the Jabrail city, as well as the villages of this region ... using mortars and artillery". It added that its army "took adequate retaliatory measures".
The Armenian defense ministry said the Azerbaijani army had fired twice during the night and used artillery.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountain territory that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
The ceasefire earlier this month was aimed at letting the sides swap detainees and bodies of those killed in the clashes, but it had little impact on the fighting around the enclave.
The new truce was announced on Oct. 17 after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talked to his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts by phone and called on sides to observe the truce that he mediated a week ago.
Russia, France and the United States belong to the Minsk Group, which has attempted to help resolve the conflict under the umbrella of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
At least 13 civilians were killed, including four women and three minors, and nearly 50 others injured, when Armenian missiles struck Ganja early on Oct. 17.
Some 20 women and five minors were also among the injured, while two children are still missing, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan said.
More than 20 houses were also destroyed in the attack.
It was Armenia’s second deadly assault on Ganja in less than a week, an area far from the front line with a population of half a million.
Along with Ganja, a hydroelectric power plant in Mingachevir was also targeted by the Armenian army at around 1 a.m. local time on Oct. 17 (2100GMT Friday), but its missiles were neutralized by Azerbaijan’s air defense.
Since new clashes erupted between the two countries on Sept. 27, Armenia has continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces.
As of midday Oct. 17, Armenia has killed at least 60 Azerbaijani civilians and injured 270 more, according to Azerbaijani officials.
The number of houses damaged in Armenian attacks has reached 1,704, along with 90 residential buildings and 327 civil facilities, according to Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General's Office.
Baku said on Oct. 17 that 60 Azeri civilians had been killed and 270 wounded since the fighting flared on Sept. 27. It has not disclosed its military casualties.