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3 Azerbaijani soldiers killed in attack by Armenian forces in East Zangezur

Three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed on Tuesday during an attack by Armenian forces in the Lachin district of the East Zangezur region.

“On April 11, at around 4.20 p.m. (1220GMT), units of the Armenian armed forces fired at the opposite positions of the Azerbaijani Army in the direction of Lachin district from their positions located in the direction of the Digh settlement of the Gorus region, using various caliber weapons,” said a statement by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.

The statement said the Armenian side continued to fire at Azerbaijani positions in the region using mortars and large-caliber weapons and that retaliatory measures taken by Azerbaijani forces resulted in “a significant number of losses” on the opposite side.

“Currently, there is relative calm in the mentioned direction, operational conditions are under the full control of our units,” the statement further noted, adding that three servicemen were killed while preventing the Armenian side’s “provocation.”

In an earlier statement, the Defense Ministry urged the public to “exercise caution and refer only to official information.”

Separately, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement that such “provocations,” in the backdrop of calls from the international community for negotiations on a peace agreement, show Armenia is “not interested in the peace process” and that these are accompanied by “politically provocative actions and statements.”

“Armenia’s provocations against Azerbaijan, violating the norms and principles of international law, not only violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, but also seriously threaten regional peace and security,” the statement said, adding that Azerbaijan will continue to take “all necessary measures.”

It also called for Armenia’s actions to be “rejected and condemned by the international community in a serious manner.”

Relations between the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, in 44 days of clashes, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages and settlements from Armenian occupation. The Russian-brokered peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.

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