Amid the conflict with Armenia, the Azerbaijani army has lost more than 3,000 servicemen ever since the hostilities erupted in conflict-torn Nagorno-Karabakh, the press secretary of the president of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh said on Saturday.
For almost a week, the Armenian and Azerbaijani forces clashed over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, thus marking the biggest escalation in years of a decades-old conflict.
“The intelligence data show that the Azerbaijani losses had already exceeded 3,000 servicemen. Most bodies remain in the neutral zone, and nothing is being done for their transportation,” spokesperson Vagram Pogosyan wrote on his Facebook page.
An escalation unfolded along the contact line of Nagorno-Karabakh,on Sunday morning which is an Armenian-majority autonomy that proclaimed independence from what then was the Soviet Azerbaijan Republic in 1991, news agency ANI reported.
Azerbaijan launched what is described as a “counteroffensive,” while the Artsakh authorities accused Azerbaijani forces of opening fire against civilians and civilian infrastructure in its capital Stepanakert. The armed hostilities continue at this point.
As per reports, both the forces have been accusing each other of shelling and killing. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry accused Armenian forces of shelling the Azerbaijani town of Tartar, while Armenian military officials said Azerbaijani forces bombed northern parts of the breakaway region where the Nagorno-Karabakh army was positioned.
The conflict intensified on Tuesday as Armenia claimed a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down one of its SU-25 fighter planes in Armenian airspace, killing the pilot. However, both Turkey and Armenian later denied the claims.
Speaking on Russian state television on the same day, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan both rejected the possibility of talks, despite urgent appeals from Russia and the United States to end the violence.
On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council called for an immediate halt to the hostilities and spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke to both Aliyev and Pashinyan and called for “an immediate stop to the fighting, a de-escalation of tension and a return to meaningful negotiations without preconditions or delay.”
Earlier on October 1, two French and two Armenian journalists were injured in Nagorno-Karabakh. Two Le Monde reporters were wounded on Thursday in the town of Martuni, a report by an international news agency Associated Press said.
Quoting Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, the report said that they were later taken to hospital, and accused Azerbaijan of bombarding the Martuni region, in eastern Nagorno-Karabakh.
A cameraman with the Armenia TV channel and a reporter with the Armenian 24News outlet also sustained injuries in the Martuni shelling, the report quoted Armenian officials as saying. However, it was unclear how badly the four journalists were hurt. A Russian journalist with the independent Dozhd TV channel was reported to have safely reached a bomb shelter.
Quoting French President Emmanuel Macron, the report said that he told reporters on arrival at a European Union summit in Brussels that a plane was ready to repatriate the two injured French journalists.
Meanwhile, India’s Ministry of External Affairs in a statement have said: “we have seen disturbing reports of a resumption of hostility between Armenia and Azerbaijan. India is concerned over this situation which threatened regional peace & security. We reiterate the need for the sides to seize hostility immediately.”
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