Armenian Defense Ministry Accuses Azeri Forces of Border Attacks

© SputnikTroops of the the Nagorno-Karabakh army are on the first line of defense at a makeshift model of a church they use as an altar
Troops of the the Nagorno-Karabakh army are on the first line of defense at a makeshift model of a church they use as an altar - Sputnik International
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According to the Armenian Defense Ministry, Azeri troops fired small arms and heavy weapons toward the interstate border.

YEREVAN (Sputnik) – The Armenian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the armed forces of neighboring Azerbaijan shelled the interstate border overnight.

"Azerbaijani armed forces conducted 16 shellings in the northeastern direction of the state border with Armenia on Monday night. Small arms and heavy weapons have been used in the direction of Armenian guards. The firing from Azerbaijan was generally sporadic," the ministry said.

Armenian forces are controlling the situation on the border and resort to retaliatory actions only in case of emergency, it added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry blamed Yerevan for violating ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

On April 5, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on a bilateral ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, which came into force at noon on the same day.

Azerbaijan does not recognize the ethnically Armenian self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) and considers the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army to be a part of the Armed Forces of Armenia.

This aerial view shows destroyed houses during the fighting at Martakert province in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Monday, April 4, 2016 - Sputnik International
Nagorno-Karabakh Crisis Could Get Messy If New Arms Suppliers Emerge
On April 2, Armenia and Azerbaijan declared a dramatic escalation of hostilities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Baku and Yerevan traded blame for breaching the truce in the conflict and reported heavy fighting in the area.

Initially, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh began in 1988, when the Armenian-dominated autonomous region sought to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, before proclaiming independence after the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. The conflict escalated further in September 2015, with the sides blaming one another for violating the truce.

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