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Smoke rises after an artillery strike in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Azeri MoD Says Armenian Forces Shelled Ganja City

Large-scale hostilities in Azerbaijan’s Armenian-dominated breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted on 27 September when both parties accused each other of violating the ceasefire.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed during talks in Moscow to keep the formats of talks on Nagorno-Karabakh unchanged, a joint statement of the foreign ministers of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan adopted on Saturday said.

The fighting on the line-of-contact in Karabakh began on 27 September. Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of unleashing hostilities, Karabakh has reported the artillery shelling of peaceful settlements of the unrecognized republic, including its capital, Stepanakert. Armenia has declared martial law and — for the first time — general mobilisation, claiming that Ankara is actively supporting Baku. Partial mobilisation was introduced in Azerbaijan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been engaged in a conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-majority region that proclaimed independence from what was then the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, since before the break-up of the Soviet Union.

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02:25 GMT 11.10.2020
23:18 GMT 10.10.2020

Several blasts were heard in Stepanakert, the capital city of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic, with bright lights seen in the sky, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Sunday.

20:58 GMT 10.10.2020

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday during a telephone conversation with Russian leader Vladimir Putin that any third-party interference in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan would only deepen the crisis.

"The possible intervention of some third-party countries in this conflict will expand and prolong the crisis, and we do not see it in the interest of regional countries," Rouhani said.

The Iranian leader also expressed concern over the "participation of some terrorist groups" in the conflict-torn breakaway republic, noting that this could be dangerous for Iran, Russia and the entire region.

20:35 GMT 10.10.2020

According to the press secretary of the head of the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Vagram Pogosyan, Azerbaijani forces are attacking Martuni, Shushi and other large villages in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) on Saturday.

20:07 GMT 10.10.2020

The press secretary of the head of the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Vagram Pogosyan, said Saturday that "the unjustified aggression of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces against the civilian population should be considered by the international community, primarily Russia, and the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, who made great efforts to establish a ceasefire".

19:23 GMT 10.10.2020

A Sputnik correspondent reported from Nagorno-Karabakh capital Stepanakert on Saturday that a bright light was seen and explosions could be heard, but it was unclear whether they took place in the air or on the ground.

The explosions were heard despite the fact that Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia agreed to a ceasefire with Azerbaijan after grueling 10-hour talks in Moscow.

Explosions could, however, have occurred due to clearance of exploded bombs currently being carried out in the city.

17:53 GMT 10.10.2020

Armenian Defence Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan said at a briefing on Saturday that the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, which entered into force at midnight, was largely observed by the warring parties.

"The ceasefire was mostly in place, there were some provocations, which the [Karabakh] defense army responded to," Hovhannisyan told reporters.

The spokesman added that the Karabakh army allowed the Azerbaijani side to take the bodies of those killed in action, however, this was soon halted.

"From now on, this process will be carried out only in the presence of representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, as it is also used for provocations," Harutyunyan said.

He noted that as of Saturday noon, the Azerbaijani side lost about 200 people, four vehicles and three drones.

17:30 GMT 10.10.2020

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to observe the ceasefire in the breakaway Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Saturday.

"The Secretary-General calls for the ceasefire to be respected and a swift agreement on the specific parameters of the ceasefire regime. The Secretary-General also welcomes the commitment by Armenia and Azerbaijan to begin substantive negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs," Dujarric said.

"The Secretary-General appeals to the international community to support the ceasefire agreement and continue to encourage the parties to resolve their differences through peaceful means," the spokesman added.

16:05 GMT 10.10.2020
15:52 GMT 10.10.2020
15:29 GMT 10.10.2020
14:51 GMT 10.10.2020
14:27 GMT 10.10.2020

"Prior to reaching the ceasefire agreement for humanitarian reasons, the Azerbaijani side attempted to carry out reconnaissance operation in the direction of Hadrut. Despite the fact that it was only about three hours into the ceasefire, operations to blockade and destroy the infiltrated [Azerbaijani] group continue. It is relatively calm at the other sectors of the contact line," the Foreign Ministry said.



13:27 GMT 10.10.2020
13:21 GMT 10.10.2020

YEREVAN (Sputnik) - A demining unit has started clearing Stepanakert, the capital of the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, of unexploded shells fired from Azerbaijan, the breakaway republic's official infocentre reported on Saturday.

"Unexploded ordnance remains in the capital following recent rocket attacks. The state emergency service’s demining units are carrying out operations to defuse them. Please do not panic at the sound of explosions," the infocentre said.

According to local media, the combat engineers will work for about two hours.

In the meantime, a Sputnik correspondent reported that sounds of explosions were heard in the centre of Stepanakert.

12:59 GMT 10.10.2020

The German Foreign Ministry on Saturday called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to engage in substantive talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the auspices of the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group.

"We welcome the expressed readiness of both countries to begin substantive negotiations mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and on the basis of the principles of the conflict resolution. We call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to work intensively on a peaceful and lasting conflict settlement," the German Foreign Ministry said.

11:55 GMT 10.10.2020
11:49 GMT 10.10.2020

The OSCE chairperson-in-office, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, has welcomed the humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, which was struck in Moscow on Saturday.

Following the 10-hour talks in the Russian capital, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to cease hostilities in the conflict-torn region starting noon (08:00 GMT). The ceasefire is intended to allow both sides to exchange captured individuals and bodies of those deceased.

"The @OSCE CiO [Edi Rama] welcomes humanitarian ceasefire that just entered in force in #NagornoKarabakh … after talks in #Moscow. We need stability, both on ground & in the process led by Minsk Group Co-Chairs. This agreement paves way for substantive negotiations," Albania said on the Twitter page of its OSCE chairmanship.

The French Foreign Ministry echoed the statement, urging the sides, which had accused each other of violating the truce minutes after it took effect, to honor the ceasefire in order to create conditions for a permanent end of hostilities.

Greece, in turn, called for an immediate start of talks under the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs — Russia, France and the United States.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius joined the calls, expressing hope that "ceasefire holds" after "14 days of heavy fighting, causing significant losses, civilian deaths, injuries and suffering."

10:33 GMT 10.10.2020

Members of a government delegation offered the wounded their seats in the front cabin of the aircraft.

10:07 GMT 10.10.2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday held a telephone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday, at the initiative of Tehran, where the latter expressed support for the Moscow-brokered ceasefire agreement in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Kremlin said.

"The Iranian president expressed support for the agreements reached following the trilateral consultations of the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia on a ceasefire for humanitarian purposes, as well as on the launch of substantive negotiations for the earliest possible achievement of a peaceful settlement," the Kremlin said in a statement.

09:36 GMT 10.10.2020

Russian journalist Yury Kotenok, who was wounded in the Nagorno-Karabakh city of Shusha, came out of a coma, a representative of Yerevan’s Erebuni Medical Center, Shushan Hunanyan, told Sputnik.

On Thursday, shelling damaged the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shusha. Three Russians — journalists Kotenok and Levon Arzanov, and Grant Badalyan from the group that escorted them — were injured in the attack, which Armenia believes was conducted by the Azerbaijani armed forces.

"The wounded journalist came out of a coma and was disconnected from the ventilator. He began to speak, his condition is stable but severe," Hunanyan said.

A message was posted on Kotenok’s Telegram channel pertaining to quote the journalist directly detailing a premeditated Azerbaijani attack.

"The strike was 100 percent intentional. Even before our arrival, a drone had circled over the church for about 20 minutes, as soon as we were inside, a strike hit almost immediately," the post read.

09:18 GMT 10.10.2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan have exchanged accusations of violating the humanitarian ceasefire in Karabakh minutes after the truce took effect at noon (8:00 GMT).

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to cease hostilities in the conflict-torn region as a result of 10-hour talks in Moscow, which finished in the early hours of Saturday.

"Ignoring the ceasefire announced for humanitarian purposes effective as of October 10, 12:00, the Azerbaijani units launched an assault in the direction of an area called ‘Karakhambeyli’ at 12:05. The units of the Artsakh Defence Army take appropriate measures to halt the enemy attack," the Armenian Defence Ministry’s spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan wrote on Facebook.

The Azerbaijani military, in turn, accused Armenian armed forces of shelling Terter and Agdam regions of Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, the air raid sirens went off in the capital of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh 15 minutes after the truce took effect, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

The sirens sounded for some two minutes before being turned off. In a comment to Sputnik, the local military suggested that a reconnaissance drone had entered the airspace.

09:06 GMT 10.10.2020
08:51 GMT 10.10.2020
08:35 GMT 10.10.2020

Artsrun Hovhannisyan, the representative of the Armenian Ministry of Defenсe, specified that the missile attack of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces fell not on the Armenian city of Kapan, but on another area.

"Correction. The strike was not at the city of Kapan, it fell on another site", Hovhannisyan wrote on Facebook.

08:32 GMT 10.10.2020
08:28 GMT 10.10.2020

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has notified his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, about the results of the Moscow-hosted talks on Karabakh, a Turkish Foreign Ministry source told reporters on Saturday.

As a result of the 10-hour talks in Moscow, which continued into Saturday night, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to cease hostilities in conflict-torn Nagorno-Karabakh starting noon. Following the marathon negotiations, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said that the sides had agreed that the process led by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs remained the only international format for the Karabakh settlement and no other country, including Turkey, should play any role in it.

"During telephone talks with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Jeyhun Bayramov, our minister has received information about the talks in Moscow and said that Turkey would support only those decisions that Azerbaijan would accept," the source said.

08:19 GMT 10.10.2020

Armenia’s Defenсe Ministry said on Saturday that an Azerbaijani missile struck its inland town of Kapan minutes after the agreed ceasefire was set to go into effect, a claim that Azerbaijan immediately denied.

"A missile strike was launched on the city of Kapan a few minutes ago. There are killed and wounded," Armenian Defenсe Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan wrote on Facebook.

The two sides had agreed a humanitarian ceasefire in Moscow overnight, and as of noontime (08:00 GMT), Yerevan said it instructed its armed forces in Nagorno-Karabakh to halt firing.

In a quickfire manner, Azerbaijan’s Defenсe Ministry denied attacking Kapan and called Armenia’s claims a provocation.

"The information of the Armenian side about the alleged missile attack by our units of Kapan, as a result of which there are allegedly dead and wounded, is a lie and a provocation of the enemy," the Azerbaijani Defenсe Ministry said.

08:16 GMT 10.10.2020
08:15 GMT 10.10.2020
08:05 GMT 10.10.2020

The humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions went into effect at noon (08:00 GMT) on Saturday in accordance with the agreement reached overnight by Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow.

The ceasefire is intended to allow both sides to recuperate forces and exchange captured individuals from either side.

Both sides agreed to carry on more substantive talks in Moscow throughout Saturday.

07:09 GMT 10.10.2020
06:58 GMT 10.10.2020

Azerbaijan has intensified its air campaign on population points in Nagorno-Karabakh hours before the humanitarian ceasefire agreed between Baku and Yerevan was set to take effect, the Armenian Defense Ministry said on Saturday.

"After the statement of MFAs of #Russia, #Armenia & #Azerbaijan, the enemy intensified the use of UAVs in the southern direction. The units of the #DefenseArmy halt all the attacks of the enemy, causing heavy losses to manpower," Defense Ministry Spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan wrote on Twitter.

The Armenian Defense Ministry separately reported that drone attacks have targeted the Yeritsvank and Artsvanik settlements in the disputed territory.

The Armenia-aligned, unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s own defense department, for its part, confirmed that air raids in addition to ground combat in the leadup to the ceasefire at noon local time (08:00 GMT).

"At present, the fighting on the front line continues with varying intensity. The most fierce battles are in the south. The enemy makes extensive use of strike aircraft," the so-called Artsakh Defense Army wrote on its Telegram channel.

06:18 GMT 10.10.2020

Austria welcomed the humanitarian ceasefire agreed by Armenia and Azerbaijan in Moscow early on Saturday and expressed hope that talks for a more permanent peace under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group would begin swiftly.

"We welcome the agreement reached between #Armenia and #Azerbaijan on a humanitarian #ceasefire. Hope that substantive talks facilitated by the Co-Chairs of the #OSCE Minsk Group will start swiftly," the Austrian Foreign Ministry wrote on Twitter.

05:54 GMT 10.10.2020

Azerbaijan’s Defenсe Ministry said on Saturday that combat operations in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh continued overnight, claiming to have inflicted heavy losses on the Armenian side, just as the leadership of the two sides were negotiating a ceasefire agreement in Moscow.

"The combat operations of various intensity continued from the afternoon on October 9 until the morning of October 10 along the entire length of the front. Fire strikes were inflicted on the enemy," the ministry said in a statement.

At the same time, a Sputnik correspondent reported that sirens sounded throughout Nagorno-Karabakh’s largest city Stepanakert on Saturday morning, warning of impending air attacks.

The Azeri military claims to have destroyed 13 Armenian tanks, four Grad missiles launchers and a host of other heavy military equipment.

05:24 GMT 10.10.2020

The main objective of the Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations in Moscow is the enhancement of the ceasefire mechanisms in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, Yerevan’s top diplomat Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said on Saturday.

"Another major task emanating from these agreements is to consolidate the ceasefire, the mechanisms that ensure the ceasefire and exclude the resumption of these processes. Here, Russia and the co-chairing countries have important functions," Mnatsakanyan said in a televised interview.

The foreign minister also noted Russia’s role in reaching the ceasefire agreements and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal input to that end.

"I would like to emphasize the role of Russia and the president of the Russian Federation. He made personal efforts, like others [leaders of the countries]. But we have gathered [in Moscow] to try to get a real practical result from the dialogue that was held separately between the president of the Russian Federation on the one hand, the prime minister of Armenia and the president of Azerbaijan on the other," the foreign minister said.

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