News agencies report armed clashes in the region, Azeri officials reject it
Eighty years ago, on July 7th, 1923, a new administrative territory was formed within the republic of Azerbaijan - Nagorny Karabakh Autonomous Region with the regional center in the settlement of Khakendy (currently called Stepanakert). There is no need to explain anything about that region - the Karabakh conflict was one of the bloodiest ones during the latest years of the USSR's existence. However, after Armenians managed to oust the Azeri army from Karabakh, a rather unsteady truce was established in the region, although it could be described as "no war, no peace."
The 80th anniversary was "celebrated" with armed clashes between the feuding sides. The first information about the growing tension between Azeri and Armenian armed groups appeared about two weeks ago. Regnum news agency reported, a skirmish occurred after Azeri soldiers moved closer to Armenian posts. As a result of the clash, "owing to efficient actions taken by Karabakh troops, the enemy (Azeris) had to retreat.
NEWSru website wrote, a real battle took place between Azeri and Armenian troops on July 7th. Military men of Azerbaijan said, Armenians suddenly attacked Azeri positions. Ramiz Melikov, chairman of the press service of the Azerbaijan Defense Ministry said, the battle lasted for an hour and a half. As a result of the battle, five Armenian soldiers were killed and a lot of servicemen were wounded. The Azeri army lost two soldiers, four were wounded. Press secretary of the Armenian Defense Ministry Seyran Shakhsuvaryan told Interfax Monday, there was no serious skirmish, which had resulted in victims on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The official added, he was “tired of rejecting the disinformation from Azerbaijan about deadly skirmishes on the border."
Nevertheless, the government of Azerbaijan was getting ready to raise a question about the violation of certain agreements by Armenia. The agreement has been allegedly concluded with the OCSE Minsk Group, which incorporates Russia, the USA and France, to regulate the conflict.
On the other hand, the Karabakh issue has not been solved even since the signing of the cease-fire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1994. Furthermore, there is no progress about the problem either, despite numerous meetings between high ranking officials of the two republics.
There is the Nagorny-Karabakh Republic on the territory of Karabakh. It has not been recognized by anyone, except for Armenia. Azerbaijan is striving for control over Karabakh, because this problem has become one of the most dangerous ones in the republic's political life. There are more than a million Karabakh refugees living in Azerbaijan. Yet, Armenia and Karabakh-based Armenians are not likely to discuss an opportunity to give Karabakh back to Azerbaijan's control. If it happens, thousands of refugees will flee to Armenia.