Armenia continues violating cease-fire: Azerbaijan's DM

In violation of the latest cease-fire, the Armenian military continued targeting Azerbaijani civilian settlements and army positions on the border, Azerbaijan said Wednesday.

Armenian forces stationed in Berd, Chambarak, Vardenis and Gorus fired on the Azerbaijani territories of Tovuz, Gadabay, Dashkesan and Gubadli using various types of weapons at different times during the night and morning, according to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.

"From 07.35 [0335GMT] to 09.00 [0500GMT] in the morning, the territory of the Aghjabedi region came under fire by the enemy," it added.

Meanwhile, the Armenian military also shelled the Tartar region in the morning hours, the ministry said.

Combat operations continued mainly in the Aghdere, Khojavend, Fuzuli, Zangilan and Gubadli direction of the front, it said, adding that the attempts of the Armenian forces to attack were "resolutely thwarted," and that they retreated suffering losses.

"As a result of the retaliatory measures taken against the armed forces of Armenia, there are killed and wounded among the enemy personnel in various directions of the front. Several of their combat vehicles were destroyed. As a result of fire damage to the enemy's artillery units, howitzers along with ammunition in the firing position were destroyed."

The statement noted that the Armenian side was suffering logistical problems in the resupply of food, weapons and ammunition due to a significant loss in vehicles.

Yerevan had also fallen short in its ongoing efforts to muster 2,000 reservists to fight against Azerbaijan, it said, adding that so far, it could only assemble 300.

It claimed that even military contractors and police officers had refused to go to the front.

Azerbaijani forces had also destroyed one OSA anti-aircraft missile system, three BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket systems, six D-30, five D-20, and one D-44 howitzer-guns, two 2A36 Giatsint-B field guns, one 120 mm mortar, one Konkurs anti-tank missile and six auto vehicles of the Armenian side during the fighting on Tuesday.

Azerbaijani troops currently control the operational situation, it added.

Separately, the ministry also shared footage of military vehicles, equipment and ammunition abandoned by Armenian forces who fled during the battles in the Gubadli direction.

CEASE-FIRE VIOLATIONS

Since the clashes erupted Sept. 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian cease-fires since Oct. 10.

A temporary humanitarian truce brokered by the US was announced Sunday and took effect 8.00 a.m. local time (0400GMT) Monday. However, it was short-lived as only a few minutes later, the Armenian forces again violated the cease-fire.

At least four civilians -- including a two-year-old toddler -- were killed and 13 were wounded including women and children when the Armenian army targeted civilian settlements in Azerbaijan's Barda region.

The first armistice, reached on Oct. 10, was violated within 24 hours as Armenia attacked Ganja with missiles that claimed civilian lives.

In two missile strikes on Ganja, a major city far from the front line, Armenia killed over two dozen civilians, including children, and injured scores of others.

A second truce Oct. 17 was again violated by Armenia.

To date, at least 69 Azerbaijani civilians have died and 322 have been injured, while 2,338 houses and 92 multi-apartment residential buildings were destroyed and 415 civil facilities were damaged, according to Azerbaijan's Prosecutor General's Office.

UPPER KARABAKH CONFLICT

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly as well as international organizations demand the "immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces" from the occupied Azerbaijani territory.

In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Minsk Group -- co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US -- was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called to halt tensions in the region. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku's right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces.


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