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Azerbaijan Blames Armenia for Violating Karabakh Ceasefire 100 Times

© REUTERS / StaffA tank of the self-defense army of Nagorno-Karabakh moves on the road in the village of Talish April 6, 2016
A tank of the self-defense army of Nagorno-Karabakh moves on the road in the village of Talish April 6, 2016 - Sputnik International
Azeri troops returned fire against the Armenian Armed Forces who had allegedly breached the truce in Nagorno-Karabakh.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Armenian Armed Forces have violated the ceasefire along the line of contact in the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic 100 times in the past 24 hours, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry’s press service said Tuesday.

“Despite the earlier reached agreement on a ceasefire along the line of contact in Karabakh, the Armenian side violated the regime along the entire line of contact 100 times over the last 24 hours,” the press service said.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said it returned fire 101 times against Armenian positions.

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.

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.

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
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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.

On Sunday, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic's Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti that the Azerbaijani forces had violated the ceasefire in the breakaway region, adding that the Nagorno-Karabakh forces "mostly refrained from response actions."

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