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Armenia loses positions in deadly border clash – BBC News

File pic: Armenian soldier fires artillery on the front line on October 25, 2020

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A number of Armenian soldiers have been killed and captured in a flare-up of violence on the border with Azerbaijan.

Armenia’s defence ministry confirmed the losses. Officials said two combat positions had been lost and that it had asked Russia to help defend its territorial sovereignty.

Azerbaijan made big gains in a six-week war fought last year over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Tensions have remained since the conflict ended in a shaky peace deal.

Armenia blamed Azerbaijani troops for the latest outbreak of fighting and said 12 soldiers had been captured. It did not immediately confirm details of casualties but the head of parliament’s foreign relations committee, Eduard Aghajanyan, said as many as 15 soldiers may have died.

Azerbaijan said its forces had responded to an Armenian attack on its positions.

According to Armenia’s foreign ministry, Azerbaijani forces attacked the eastern border as part of a policy that began in May aimed at infiltrating two Armenian areas, Syunik in the south-east and Gegharkunik in the east.

The government in Yerevan has appealed to Russia and the rest of the international community to help secure a withdrawal of Azerbaijani forces.

The November 2020 peace deal, brokered by Russia, came after a war in which more than 6,000 people were killed. Some 2,000 Russian peacekeepers were deployed to patrol the area in and around Nagorno-Karabakh.

Map showing the terms of the peace deal

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