New tensions explode over Karabakh, 3 soldiers killed

New tensions erupted over the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh on Aug. 3 as three soldiers were killed and Azerbaijan said it had taken control of several strategic heights in the disputed region.

Arch enemies Armenia and Azerbaijan fought two wars - in 2020 and in the 1990s - over the occupied region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In the aftermath of the latest war, Armenia was forced to cede swathes of territory it had controlled for decades, and Russia deployed some 2,000 peacekeepers to oversee a fragile truce, but tensions persist despite a ceasefire agreement.

On Wednesday, new tensions flared as Azerbaijan said it had lost a soldier and the Karabakh army said two of its troops had been killed and more than a dozen injured.

The Azerbaijani defence ministry said Karabakh troops targeted its army positions in the district of Lachin, which is under the supervision of the Russian peacekeeping force, killing an Azerbaijani conscript.

The Azerbaijani army later said it conducted an operation dubbed "Revenge" in response and took control of several strategic heights in Karabakh.

The army of the breakaway statelet for its part accused Azerbaijan of violating a ceasefire and killing two soldiers and wounding another 14.

The escalation came after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Tuesday.

The European Union called for an "immediate cessation of hostilities" between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in Karabakh.

In July, Azerbaijan began the process of returning its people to land recaptured from Armenian separatists in what Baku calls "The Great Return".

The oil-rich country has vowed to repopulate the recaptured lands.

President Ilham Aliyev had for...

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