Armenia Says Azerbaijani Troops Killed Karabakh Soldier


Azerbaijani troops have killed an ethnic Armenian soldier in the disputed Nagorny Karabakh territory, officials in Yerevan said on Thursday.

"The Karabakh army soldier, David Navasardyan, died of fatal wounds after Azerbaijani forces opened fire on October 1 on the Karabakh frontline," Armenia's defense ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, told Agence France-Presse.

Forces regularly exchange fire across the Azerbaijan-Armenia frontier and on the Karabakh frontline with both sides repeatedly accusing each other of tit-for-tat raids two decades after the official end to a bitter war.

Last month saw an unprecedented spiral of violence with more than 20 troops killed from both sides, the deadliest clashes since an overall ceasefire was agreed in 1994.

Nagorny Karabakh, a region mostly inhabited by ethnic Armenians, broke away from Azerbaijan with the help of Armenia in a war that claimed some 30,000 lives between 1991 and 1994. All ethnic-Azeris were forced to flee the territory.

Despite two decades of negotiations, the two sides have yet to sign a peace deal.

Oil-rich Azerbaijan has threatened to take back the disputed region by force if negotiations do not yield results.

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