Yerevan and Baku accuse each other of firing mortars and artillery a day after dozens of people were killed in the worst fighting since 2020.
More clashes erupted between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces a day after nearly 100 soldiers were killed in the deadliest clashes between the two neighbors since 2020, the Armenian Defense Ministry said.
Azerbaijan used artillery, mortars and small arms in Wednesday morning’s attack, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border remained tense,” it added, confirming Armenia’s position that Azerbaijan had begun aggression on its sovereign territory.
For its part, Azerbaijan accused Armenia, which is in a military alliance with Moscow and on whose territory the Russian military base is located, of shelling its military units with mortars and artillery.
“At the moment, our positions are periodically fired upon,” the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said. “Our units are taking the necessary response measures.”
Al Jazeera was unable to immediately verify reports of combat from either side.
A full-blown conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan could draw in powers like Russia and Turkey and destabilize an important corridor for oil and gas pipelines while fighting in Ukraine cuts off energy supplies.
The latest fighting came a day after the two Caucasian neighbors exchanged accusations over clashes that broke out on the border of the two countries on Tuesday night.
According to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the Azerbaijani forces “were carrying out intensive artillery and heavy-caliber shelling of Armenian military positions in the direction of the cities of Goris, Sotk and Jermuk.”
For his part, Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elnur Mammadov accused Armenia of shelling “employees and civilian infrastructure”, calling it a “large-scale provocation.”
He also said that Armenian forces fired on Azerbaijani military positions in Dashkesan, Kalbajar and Lachin regions.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said 50 servicemen were killed in nighttime clashes, while Armenia reported the death of 49 of its servicemen.
Russia, which is the chief mediator in the Caucasus and an ally of Armenia through the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), said it reached a ceasefire agreement at 9:00 Moscow time (06:00 GMT) on Tuesday and called Both sides stick to the deal.
Moscow oversaw an earlier ceasefire agreement in November 2020 to end the Armenia-Azerbaijan war over Nagorno-Karabakh and deployed nearly 2,000 peacekeepers to the region as part of the agreement.
In the 2020 conflict, which has killed more than 6,500 people in just over six weeks, Azerbaijan has reclaimed chunks of territory in and around Nagorno-Karabakh that have been controlled by Yerevan-backed ethnic Armenian forces since the previous war in the area ended in 1994.