Two Armenian soldiers killed while bus explodes in capital

Published April 26th, 2016 - 03:00 GMT
Azerbaijan's defence ministry said its troops repelled an overnight attack, forcing Armenian troops to retreat. (AFP/File)
Azerbaijan's defence ministry said its troops repelled an overnight attack, forcing Armenian troops to retreat. (AFP/File)

The defense ministry of the breakaway region said in a statement that soldiers were killed by gunfire from Azerbaijan in the early hours of Tuesday.

It also blamed Azerbaijani forces for violating ceasefire and continued bombing of the volatile region.

"On the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Karabakh forces, the enemy violated a ceasefire 80 times using all types of artillery and armored vehicles," the ministry said.

Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov during a meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Simas Magalhaes on Tuesday said that the presence of the Armenian Armed Forces in the disputed region has been hindering the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.

Earlier this month, Azerbaijani and Armenian troops used artillery, tanks and other armaments on a scale not seen since a separatist war concluded in 1994.

According to reports, nearly 75 servicemen from both sides along with a number of civilians were killed in the latest skirmishes between the hostile neighbors.

A Moscow-mediated truce went into effect earlier this month but sporadic clashes have since continued.

The Karabakh region, which is located in the Azerbaijan Republic but is populated by Armenians, has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian militia and the Armenian troops since a three-year war, which claimed over 30,000 lives, ended between the two republics in 1994 through Russian mediation.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have not signed a peace deal despite a 1994 ceasefire.

Although the two countries are divided by a buffer zone, both sides frequently accuse each other of violating the ceasefire.

Two killed in passenger bus blast in Armenian capital

Meanwhile, at least two people were killed and several others were wounded in an explosion on a passenger bus in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Monday evening.

Witnesses said the bus was gutted by the blast, which blew out the windows of nearby houses.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the deadly explosion.

The explosion happened a day after Yerevan held ceremonies commemorating the 101st anniversary of the Armenian massacre during the World War I.

Armenians claim that up to 1.5 million Armenian Christians were systematically slaughtered in eastern Turkey through mass killing, forced relocations and starvation, a process that began in 1915 and took place over several years during World War I and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.

Ankara rejects the term "genocide" and says 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians, and at least as many Turks perished between 1915 and 1917, in what the Turkish government sees as the "casualties" of World War I.

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