Second Armenian Soldier Killed in Border Clash with Azerbaijan

Another Armenian soldier was killed this week as clashes intensified between arch-foes Azerbaijan and Armenia, locked in a decades-long dispute over Nagorny Karabakh region, Armenian officials said on Wednesday.

"On April 7 (Tuesday), a soldier was shot dead on the Karabakh frontline by an Azerbaijani sniper," the separatist region's defence ministry said in a statement.

Another Armenian soldier had been killed on Tuesday in a clash on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The latest death takes the number of people reported killed on both sides this year to 25.

Yerevan and Baku have been locked in a dispute over Azerbaijan's Nagorny Karabakh region since a bloody war erupted in the early 1990s.

Yerevan-backed ethnic Armenian separatists seized control of Karabakh and another seven adjacent districts of Azerbaijan during the conflict that left some 30,000 dead.

Despite years of negotiations, the two sides have not signed a final peace deal following a shaky 1994 truce, and Armenian-populated Karabakh is still internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

However, Karabakh's ethnic-Azeri community -- around a quarter of the population before the war -- was entirely driven out.

Baku, whose military spending exceeds Armenia's entire state budget, has threatened to take back the territories by force if negotiations fail to yield results.

Armenia, backed militarily by Russia, says it could crush any offensive.

Source: Agence France Presse

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