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Azerbaijan resumes shelling of Nagorno-Karabakh — Armenian Defense Ministry

Azerbaijan resumed on Monday morning shelling of the positions of the adversary in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian Defense Ministry reported.

"The enemy used mortars and cannons during the nigh along the contact line to shell the positions of the Defense Army and nearby settlements of Nagorno-Karabakh," the ministry said. "Intensive shelling in the northeast and southeast of the contact line started at 07:00 (06:00, Moscow time)."

Armenian Defense Minister's spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said earlier that the Karabakh troops destroyed three Azerbaijani tanks during the morning fighting. According to him, "The Karabakh forces seized the initiative."

The situation along the line of engagement of the conflicting parties in Nagorno-Karabakh deteriorated dramatically overnight to April 2. Following fierce armed clashes at the contact line, the parties to the conflict accused each other of violating truce.

The conflict between neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians, broke out in the late 1980s.

In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories. Thousands left their homes on both sides in a conflict that killed 30,000. A truce was called between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh republic on one side and Azerbaijan on the other in May 1994.

On Sunday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OCHA reported that "at least 30 soldiers and 3 civilians have died as a result of the fighting (in Nagorno-Karabakh). The number of injured persons, both civilian and military, is yet to be confirmed by official sources. Unofficial sources estimated this number to be more than 200."

[Source: Itar Tass, Yerevan, 04Apr16]

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