Terrorist incident reported at Azerbaijani checkpoint with border clashes also erupting throughout the weekend

Tensions have escalated between Armenia and Azerbaijan after a series of border skirmishes over the weekend and Azerbaijani reports of a terrorist attack by an Armenia citizen which left three servicemen injured.

The Ministries of Defence (MODs) of both countries have accused each other of breaking the ceasefire throughout the weekend. On Saturday (13 November), Azerbaijan issued a statement, alleging that Armenian troops used “caliber weapons, sniper rifles and grenade launchers subjected to fire the Azerbaijan Army positions in the direction of the Zeylik settlement of the Kalbajar region”. Further statements on Sunday were levelled at Armenia, accusing troops of provocation along sections of the border. 

For its part, the Armenian MOD reported an “intense shootout” on Saturday after Azerbaijani troops “tried to secure a positional advance in the eastern direction of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border”, with a similar statement issued yesterday (14 November). The Armenian side have also reported that negotiations are underway with the mediation of the Russian side. Neither side have reported any casualties. 

The situation has been aggravated by another incident on Saturday, which Azerbaijan has called a “terrorist act”. A man reportedly threw an explosive device at a checkpoint early on Saturday morning, injuring three Azerbaijani servicemen. According to reports from Baku, the man in question was an Armenian acting with a “group of criminals”. He has reportedly been detained by Russian forces in the area. 

The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar tweeted his concern at the escalation of tension in the region, adding that it was “important to defuse, address causes, and engage in work towards comprehensive settlement”.

This morning (15 November), Armenia held an emergency security council meeting to discuss "the intrusion of Azerbaijani troops into Armenian territory in one of the eastern sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border". The prime minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, added that the purpose of the meeting was to "summarize our discussions, as well as to provide our public with complete information about the events that took place".

source: commonspace.eu and agencies

photo: Armenian soldier; Official website of the Ministry of defence of the republic of Armenia