2 Azerbaijani soldiers killed in attack on border with Armenia

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Two Azerbaijani soldiers were killed after Armenian forces attacked Azerbaijani positions along the two countries’ border on Sunday, using artillery fire, Baku said.

Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said Armenia’s “offensive” from its northern Tavush region was met with a “counterstrike” and retreated. “Two Azerbaijani servicemen were killed and five more wounded,” it added.

Additional information would be provided to the public in due course, the ministry added.

Yerevan, on its part, accused Baku of “using artillery in an attack aimed at capturing (Armenian) positions.”

“They were repulsed, suffering losses in manpower. There were no casualties among Armenian servicemen,” Armenia’s defence ministry spokeswoman, Shushan Stepanyan, said in a Facebook post.

The two former Soviet republics have for decades been locked in a simmering conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory which was at the heart of a bloody war in the 1990s.

The Sunday clashes however were far from Karabakh, and directly between the two Caucasus states.

Since the fragile 1994 ceasefire, peace talks between Baku and Yerevan have been mediated by the “Minsk Group” of diplomats from France, Russia, and the United States.

Sunday’s clashes erupted days after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev denounced stalled peace talks with Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.