Three Killed in Armenia-Azerbaijan Border Clash

Azerbaijani troops killed three Armenian soldiers on Monday during an alleged incursion attempt on the border between the enemy ex-Soviet states, the Defense Ministry in Yerevan said.

"On June 4, the Azerbaijani side once again roughly violated the ceasefire, attempting to penetrate Armenian positions," a ministry statement said.

"Their diversionary offensive was stopped and the enemy was forced to retreat, suffering losses," it said.

The ministry said six Armenian soldiers had also been wounded in the border skirmish. There were no details on any Azerbaijani losses.

Azerbaijani media reported however that the three deaths were caused by an Armenian army "provocation" that was repelled.

The clash erupted in Armenia's northeastern Tavush region, where three other servicemen died during an alleged Azerbaijani attack in April.

The two neighbors are locked in a bitter dispute over the region of Nagorny Karabakh, which Armenian separatists backed by Yerevan seized from Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s that left some 30,000 people dead.

Despite years of negotiations since the 1994 ceasefire, the two sides have not yet signed a final peace deal, and there are still frequent exchanges of gunfire between the opposing armies.

Baku has threatened to use force to win back Karabakh if peace talks fail to yield satisfactory results, but Yerevan has warned of large-scale retaliation against any military action.

Source: Agence France Presse

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