Fighting in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. continued overnight into Monday, September 28, following a day of heavy clashes between the Azerbaijani army and Armenian-backed separatist forces loyal to the self-declared Republic of Artsakh on Sunday, September 27. Continued clashes have been reported along the front line, and Azerbaijani officials have alleged that Armenian forces shelled the town of Terter early on Monday. Officials in the Republic of Artsakh have stated that at least 32 Armenian servicemen had been killed as of Monday morning, with more than 200 others injured. At least two civilians have been killed in the Republic of Artsakh, while sources state that six Azerbaijani civilians have been killed. Dozens more have been injured. Martial law and military mobilization have been declared in Armenia and in the Republic of Artsakh.
Hostilities began on September 27 when Azerbaijani forces reportedly carried out strikes on settlements in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, including the regional capital Stepanakert. Residents of the area have been instructed to seek refuge in shelters. Following a retaliation by separatist forces, Azerbaijan launched what it claims to be a 'counter-offensive' in response. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have used heavy weaponry and have reported casualties and material losses. Both sides have released footage claiming to show the destruction of enemy armored vehicles and installations. A state of war and martial law, including a curfew, have been declared in several Azerbaijani regions, and partial mobilization commenced on Monday.
Further clashes in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region are highly likely over the near term. Clashes along the length of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border outside the Nagorno-Karabakh region cannot be ruled out. A heightened security presence and a disruption to transportation are expected.
Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan 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 and each side frequently accuses the other of violating the ceasefire agreement.
Western governments generally advise their citizens against all travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. Those in Armenia are advised to monitor developments and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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