News Alerts

11 Oct 2020 | 11:21 PM UTC

Azerbaijan: Attacks reported despite Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire October 11 /update 14

Azerbaijan News Alert

Attacks reported in and around Nagorno-Karabakh region despite ceasefire on October 11; further conflict violence likely in near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/9/2020, 11:00 PM until 10/18/2020, 10:59 PM (Asia/Baku). COUNTRY/REGION Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan

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Event

Attacks were reported both within and outside of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in western Azerbaijan by both Armenian-backed separatists loyal to the self-proclaimed Artsakh Republic and Azeri forces on Sunday, October 11, despite a ceasefire agreement between the Armenian and Azeri governments in force since October 10. The Azeri government accused Armenian forces of shelling the city of Ganja on Sunday and stated that nine people had been killed and 34 others had been wounded during the shelling, which struck an apartment building. Azeri authorities also stated that Armenian forces had targeted a hydro-electric power station in Mingecevir but had failed to damage the complex. Armenian officials denied the allegations and stated that Azeri forces had shelled the city of Stepanakert in Nagorno-Karabakh. Karabakh authorities added that at least five civilians had been killed since the ceasefire began. They also accused Azeri forces of attempting to take the town of Hadrut. Azeri officials also started that an airstrike had been carried out against Armenian-backed forces; however, this has not been verified.

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 disruptions to transportation are expected.

Context

The latest round of hostilities erupted on September 27, when Azerbaijani forces reportedly carried out strikes on settlements in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, including the regional capital Stepanakert. Following retaliatory attacks by separatist forces, Azerbaijan launched what it claimed to be a 'counter-offensive' in response. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan made extensive use of heavy weapons during the clashes, including artillery and loitering munitions, and released footage claiming to show the destruction of enemy armored vehicles and installations. A state of war, martial law, and mobilization was declared in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh. Over 400 people, including civilians, have been killed since the renewed outbreak of hostilities. In addition to fighting along the Line of Contact, cities in Nagorno-Karabakh and outside of the conflict zone have been targeted in artillery strikes including Stepanakert, Ganja, Barda, Beylagan, Terter, and Mingecevir.

On October 10, both sides agreed to a ceasefire to allow for the exchange of prisoners and the recovery of the bodies of those killed in the conflict and the cessation of hostilities will be followed up with further talks aimed at reaching a settlement regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

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 fuelled tensions between the two countries since 1988; with some 30,000 people being 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.

Advice

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 and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

 

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