Fresh violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region have resulted in the killing of four Azeri servicemen in recent weeks, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry said on Sunday, in its first report of casualties since the ceasefire accord.
Armenia said six of their servicemen had been injured in what it described as an Azeri military offensive on Saturday.
The Baku government said the clashes had taken place in an area that fell under its control when the fighting ended on November 10 and territory in Nagorno-Karabakh previously controlled by ethnic Armenians was handed over to Azerbaijan.
It said the military operation on Friday and Saturday aimed to destroy or drive out enemy forces responsible for the deadly attacks on Azeri servicemen.
Armenia said its forces had repelled attempted intrusions into territories supposed to remain under the control of the rebel province’s government, namely the Hin Tagher and Khtsaberd villages.
“The provocations of Azerbaijan continued today in the direction of the villages of Mets Shen and Hin Shen in the Hadrut region,” Armenia’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
In another statement, Armenia’s defence ministry said: “negotiations between Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani servicemen are underway to resolve the situation in Hadrut and ensure the return of the parties to their former positions”.
Russian peacekeepers deployed in the conflict area have reported no major clashes but said at the weekend there had been one ceasefire violation.
Azerbaijan’s State Security Service said that “unfounded accusations against the Azeri side and the Russian peacekeepers by some Armenian leaders and media” were unacceptable.
The Armenian foreign ministry said Russian forces were not deployed in the area where the clashes broke out.