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HomeWorldAsiaNagorno-Karabakh: an agreement has reportedly been reached to stop the fighting

Nagorno-Karabakh: an agreement has reportedly been reached to stop the fighting

Armenia and Azerbaijan reached an agreement on Wednesday to end two days of fighting in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region, local authorities and Azerbaijani officials said.

All sides are due to cease fire at 1pm local time, and talks between Azerbaijani officials and ethnic Armenian representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh on its “reintegration” into Azerbaijan will be held in the Azerbaijani town of Yevlakh on Thursday.

The agreement was reached with the participation of the Russian peacekeeping contingent. As part of the agreement, Armenian military units and military equipment are to be withdrawn from Nagorno-Karabakh and local defence forces disarmed, regional officials say.

It came a day after Azerbaijan launched a military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh and began shelling Armenian positions, killing and wounding dozens of people, according to local authorities.

Azerbaijan called its military action an “anti-terrorist operation” and said the artillery shelling would continue until Nagorno-Karabakh’s separatist government dissolved itself and “illegal Armenian military formations” surrendered.

The Azerbaijani authorities claim that only military facilities were hit by artillery shelling. However, the streets of Stepanakert, the regional capital, were significantly destroyed: shop windows were smashed and cars were punctured, apparently by shrapnel.

On Wednesday morning, the neighbourhood of Stepanakert shuddered with explosions every few minutes: some blasts were heard in the distance, others closer to the city.

Escalating tensions have fuelled fears that a full-scale war could resume in the region between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which have been fighting over the mountainous territory of Nagorno-Karabakh for more than three decades. The last fierce fighting there was fought there for six weeks in 2020.

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