Azerbaijani, Armenian forces exchange more weapons

Azerbaijani and Armenian forces exchanged more weapons fire along the countries' northern border, Azerbaijani military officials said Thursday, in the latest rise in violence between the two Caucasus nations.

A Defense Ministry statement said its forces in five locations were fired on by Armenian forces with mortars and gunfire on Wednesday and that the firing halted only after Azerbaijani troops returned fire.

The ministry reported no casualties.

Armenian defense officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Earlier this week, the two sides exchanged heavy gunfire and mortar fire at several points along their border, killing at least one Azerbaijani soldier and wounding several Azerbaijani and Armenian soldiers.

The two countries remain at odds over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan. A cease-fire agreement was reached in 1994 after six years of fighting, and the enclave is now under the control of ethnic Armenians, whose troops face Azerbaijani forces across a half-mile-wide no man's land.

Sporadic clashes, however, break out along the Nagorno-Karabakh border and land mines continue to kill people every year, reports the AP.


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