Armenia says its soldier killed by Azerbaijani shelling

AP , Monday 22 Nov 2021

An Armenian soldier was killed by Azerbaijani shelling on Monday amid simmering tensions on the border between the two ex-Soviet neighbors.

Armenian soldiers
File Photo: Ethnic Armenian soldiers gather at their fighting positions on the front line in Nagorno-Karabakh. Reuters

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a decades-old dispute over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a region that lies within Azerbaijan but was under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

Fierce fighting that erupted in September 2020 ended six weeks later with a Russia-brokered peace deal that saw Azerbaijan gain control of a significant part of Nagorno-Karabakh and reclaim all the regions that were controlled by Armenian forces outside the separatist region.

Tensions again escalated last week, which saw the worst clashes since the 2020 hostilities. At least seven Azerbaijani troops and one Armenian servicemen died in the fighting last week.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said that Azerbaijani forces again fired on Armenian positions in the southern Gegarkuni region on Monday, killing a 19-year-old soldier.

Earlier Monday, opposition supporters blocked traffic in Armenia's capital to urge the government to take a tougher stance amid tensions with neighboring Azerbaijan.

The protesters demanded that the authorities don't sign documents on the delimitation and demarcation of the border between the countries and reject Azerbaijan's plans for transport corridors across the Armenian territory.

The Russia-brokered peace deal envisaged a transport corridor via Armenia that would link Azerbaijan with its exclave Nakhchivan region _ a plan strongly opposed by the Armenian opposition.

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