Azerbaijani forces have violated the ceasefire in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh 50 times early on Tuesday, the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s (NKR) Defense Ministry said.
“Early on January 2, the Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire agreement 50 times along the line of contact between Karabakh and Azerbaijani forces. Over 400 shots from weapons of varying caliber were fired at Armenian positions over this period of time. On the northwest stretch of the line of contact, the Azerbaijani side used 60-millimeter mortars,” the ministry said in a statement.
Front units of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army responded to the violations and returned fire, the ministry added, noting that the troops then returned to performing their duties.
The violence in Nagorno-Karabakh flared up on April 2. Baku and Yerevan accused each other of provoking hostilities that led to multiple deaths on each side. The sides agreed to a ceasefire on April 5, but clashes have continued.
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh began in 1988, when the autonomous region sought to secede from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, before proclaiming independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The warring sides agreed to a cessation of hostilities in 1994.