Azerbaijani armed forces neutralize 10 Armenian tanks and servicemen (UPDATE)

Azerbaijani armed forces neutralize 10 Armenian tanks and servicemen (UPDATE)

details added (first version posted at 12:32)

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 3

Trend:

The Azerbaijani armed forces neutralized 10 Armenian tanks and killed many servicemen on the contact line between two countries' troops, the Azerbaijani defense ministry said April 3.

Armenia continues escalating the situation despite the agreement on the resumption of the ceasefire at Russia's initiative and mediation April 2 at 15:00 (UTC/GMT +4 hours).

"While Azerbaijan was complying with the ceasefire conditions, Armenia prepared more military equipment in the occupied territories and tried to return the positions and territories liberated from occupation," the statement said. "As a result, some 10 Armenian tanks, as well as many servicemen were neutralized."

As a result of preventive measures carried out by the Azerbaijani armed forces, Armenia's actions in this regard were prevented. The Armenian armed forces intensively shelled the settlements near the contact line of troops and non-military civilian facilities.

The Azerbaijani defense ministry ordered the armed forces' units to retaliate against Armenia's positions in the occupied territories if Armenia does not cease shelling the country's settlements.

The counter-attack was made following provocations of the Armenian armed forces at night of April 2, which resulted in deaths and injuries of civilians.

Six Armenian tanks, 15 gun mounts and reinforced engineering structures have been destroyed and more than 100 servicemen of the Armenian armed forces were wounded and killed during the fights, the ministry said.

Twelve servicemen of the Azerbaijani armed forces heroically died, one Mi-24 helicopter was shot down and one tank damaged by a mine, according to the ministry.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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