Yerevan/Baku: Armenian separatists in the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh said Monday 15 more of its fighters have been killed in a flare-up of a territorial dispute, bringing the total death toll to 39 as the fighting entered a second day.
Following the specter of a full-scale conflict that erupted on Sunday, world leaders urged an end to fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian rebels, a conflict that could attract regional powers such as Russia and Turkey.
Since the early 1990s, the former Soviet Union Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a territorial dispute over a separatist enclave backed by Armenia, and deadly fighting broke out at the beginning of this year and 2016.
The Karabakh Defense Ministry announced that a total of 32 people were killed on Monday. Earlier, it was reported that seven people were killed, including a five-person Azerbaijani family with a woman and a child on the Armenian side.
The Armenian Defense Ministry stated that fierce fighting had been on the front lines overnight and Monday morning, and claimed to have retaken the positions occupied by the Azerbaijani army on Sunday.
But Baku claims to have made further progress.
Azerbaijani forces “are striking enemy positions using rocket-artillery and aviation… and have taken several strategic positions around the village of Talysh,” the defence ministry said.
“The enemy is retreating,” it added.