Stepanakert: Monday’s attempt to stop the third fight to end Nagorno-Karabakh quickly collapsed, and the Armenian-Azerbaijan deal accused of violating the US broker’s ceasefire agreement within minutes.
As fighting in the disputed area entered its second month, international mediators scrambled to stop the frontline conflict and shelled civilian areas, killing hundreds of people.
The latest “humanitarian ceasefire” was announced by Washington on Sunday, after truces brokered by Russia and France fell apart over previous weekends.
The ceasefire was originally scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) and it took less than an hour before the first charge was made.
Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said Armenian forces had shelled the town of Terter and nearby villages in “gross violation” of the truce.
The Armenian Ministry of Defense stated that the Azerbaijani army had “seriously violated” the ceasefire agreement with artillery fire at various frontline combat positions.
Ever since Yerevan-backed Armenian separatists seized control of the mountain province in the 1990s war, Azerbaijan and Armenia have clashed fiercely in Karabakh, which killed 30,000 people.
The independence declared by Karabakh was not recognized internationally, or even recognized by Armenia. According to international law, Karabakh is still part of Azerbaijan.
The current fighting broke out on September 27. Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of targeting civilians and undermined the previous armistice. Repeated calls for calmness seem to have no effect.
Stepanakert, the main city of Nagorno-Karabakh, has become quiet in recent days after being heavily shelled at the beginning of the battle.
An AFP reporter said in the city on Monday that the night has been quiet. Ten minutes before the ceasefire took effect, an explosion was heard and a cloud of smoke was seen on a nearby hill.
On Monday morning, there were fewer fighting sounds from the front lines than in previous days, although shells could be heard in the distance.