MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group on conflict settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh expressed concern on Saturday over resumed clashes in the contested region.
"The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group express grave concern over the reported large-scale ceasefire violations that are taking place along the Line of Contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone," a press release, published on the OSCE website, said.
The Minsk Group called on all sides to end hostilities in order to stabilize the situation, stressing that there is no alternative to a peaceful settlement.
"We strongly condemn the use of force and regret the senseless loss of life, including civilians," the statement added.
Earlier in the day, Armenia and Azerbaijan noted a sharp escalation of the situation in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area, with both sides accusing each other of violating the ceasefire that has been in place since 1994.
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. In September 2015, the conflict escalated, with the sides blaming each other for violating the truce.
Situation in the city of Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh: