Armenian–Azerbaijani clashes continue even after truce deal

Fresh shelling was reported in Nagorno-Karabakh, just hours after a ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan came into force.

Armenia’s defence ministry said Azeri forces had launched an attack five minutes after the truce had been due to come into effect, with ethnic Armenian forces responding. Azeri forces were also bombarding a town, the defence ministry said.

Meanwhile Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said Armenia was “blatantly violating the ceasefire regime” and firing into the Azeri regions of Terter and Agdam. Armenia denied this.

There was also intense fighting ahead of the ceasefire. The self-declared ethnic Armenian authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said Azerbaijan fired missiles at civilian neighbourhoods of the main city, Stepanakert, while Armenia accused Azeri forces of intensifying drone strikes.

For its part, Azerbaijan said Armenia had shelled populated areas near Nagorno-Karabakh and said it was returning fire.

Both sides had previously accused the other of continuing bombardments in other areas.

After two weeks of fighting, the two countries agreed to a temporary truce during talks in Moscow on Friday.

The now-fragile ceasefire was to allow the two countries to exchange prisoners and recover bodies from the recent bout of fighting.

More than 300 people have died and thousands been displaced since the latest violence in the long-running conflict broke out on 27 September.

The clashes have displaced half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population – about 70,000 people – officials said.

Nagorno-Karabakh is run by ethnic Armenians although it is officially part of Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile US celebrity Kim Kardashian West, who is of Armenian heritage, announced on social media that she was donating $1m to a fund for Armenian victims of the conflict.