Azerbaijan says Armenian troops fired along border as tension escalates

Azerbaijan said it had observed "intensive movement of (Armenia's) troops in different directions." (Photo/Reuters)

Azerbaijan has accused Armenian troops of opening fire along their volatile shared border, the latest flare-up in tensions between the Caucasus arch-foes despite ongoing peace talks.

Azerbaijan's defence ministry said on Tuesday, "Units of the Armenian armed forces on April 1 opened fire with small arms at Azerbaijani army positions" near the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, an Azerbaijani exclave along the border with Iran and southern Armenia.

The two countries' leaders have repeatedly expressed optimism about the prospect of reaching a lasting peace deal, but lingering territorial disputes between the two countries pose a constant risk of a renewed conflict.

Armenia's defence ministry said the claim "doesn't correspond to reality" and accused Baku of firing first.

The claims of fresh clashes come after Azerbaijan accused Armenia on Monday of "concentrating manpower, armoured vehicles, artillery installations, and other heavy firepower" near the border.

Azerbaijan said it had observed "intensive movement of (Armenia's) troops in different directions."


"We warn that in case of any attempt at a military provocation by the Armenian armed forces against Azerbaijan, it will be resolutely suppressed by the Azerbaijan army," Baku said.

Armenia has denied the accusations.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have said a comprehensive peace agreement is within reach after Baku recaptured the breakaway Karabakh region from Armenian occupation last year in a lightning military operation.

The former Soviet republics have fought two wars for control of the mountainous region — most recently in 2020 and in the 1990s amid the break-up of the Soviet Union — that have claimed thousands of lives on both sides.

In 1991, the Armenian military occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan and seven adjacent regions.

Most of the territory was liberated by Azerbaijan during a war in the fall of 2020, which ended after a Russian-brokered peace agreement that also opened the door to normalisation.


After Baku reclaimed Karabakh in a one-day offensive in September last year, the enclave's entire ethnic Armenian population—more than 100,000 people—left for Armenia.


Source: TRT