Armenian and Azerbaijani officials report of clashes in the provinces of Tavush (Armenia) and Tovuz (Azerbaijan) on Thursday, July 16. The flare-up, which reportedly involved exchanges of artillery fire between the two countries, came despite a ceasefire agreement established on Wednesday, July 15. Both sides have blamed the other for the resumption of hostilities, with military positions and villages being targeted on both sides of the border. Artillery exchanges reportedly continued into early Thursday afternoon.
Further clashes in the area are possible in the near term.
Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia have a long-standing dispute over the possession of Nagorno-Karabakh, home to some 150,000 inhabitants (mostly ethnic Armenians) and located in the west of Azerbaijan. This issue has fueled tensions between the two countries since 1988; some 30,000 people were killed in fighting from 1990 to 1994. The two countries declared another ceasefire in April 2016 after the region experienced four days of violent clashes that left hundreds dead. Tensions between the two countries remain high.
Renewed cross-border clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces broke out in the Tavush area on Sunday, July 12. At least 11 Azeri and four Armenian troops, in addition to an Azeri civilian, have been killed since fighting in the area began.
Western governments generally advise their citizens against all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. Those in Azerbaijan are advised to monitor developments to the situation, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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