Azerbaijani Troops Kill Armenian Soldier


Azerbaijani troops on Wednesday killed an Armenian soldier in the latest clash along the volatile border of the disputed Nagorny Karabakh region, separatist officials said. 

"Soldier Karen Hovhannisyan was fatally injured from a shot coming from the enemy's side," the defense ministry of the contested Armenian-backed region said.  

Azerbaijan is locked in a decades-long conflict with Armenia over Nagorny Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan.

Ethnic Armenian separatists backed by Yerevan seized control of the territory during a 1990s war that left some 30,000 dead.

Despite years of negotiations, the two countries have not signed a final peace deal to cement a tenuous 1994 ceasefire.

The two sides regularly exchange fire across the frontline but last year saw clashes hit a new high, sparking fears of a fresh escalation. 

Energy-rich Azerbaijan, whose military spending exceeds Armenia's entire state budget, has threatened to take back the region by force if negotiations fail to yield results. 

Armenia, which is heavily armed by Russia, says it could crush any offensive.

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