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Azerbaijan soldier wounded in Armenia shelling: Baku

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Armenia's acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (L) speaks with a serviceman in the village of Gegharkunikhis on May 27, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Azerbaijan says one of its soldiers was wounded after Armenian forces opened fire along the border amid recent tensions between the two Caucasus countries.

Azerbaijan's defense ministry said in a statement on Friday that its positions in the Nakhchivan enclave on the border with Armenia and Turkey "came under fire from Armenian armed forces" overnight.

One soldier was wounded in the shoulder and taken to hospital, it said.

Armenia's defense ministry said it "categorically denies" the accusations.

The incident is the latest in a series of border clashes that occurred since the two countries ended six weeks of war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in November last year.

The conflict killed more than 6,000 people on both sides and led to a political crisis in Armenia.

The truce deal of November left Azerbaijan largely in control of the territory.

Border tensions have been running high again earlier this month, after Yerevan accused Baku of sending troops across the border and violating the ceasefire.

On Thursday, Armenia said Azeri forces captured six of its troops in the Kelbajar district, which was among the territories recaptured by Baku last year. 

Azerbaijan's military said the soldiers were part of a "reconnaissance and sabotage group," in the territory, but Armenia claimed its forces were carrying out engineering work in the border region.

And Armenia said earlier this week  that one of its soldiers was killed in a shooting incident with Azerbaijan's forces. Baku, however, denied responsibility for the incident.

Acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described the situation on the border as "tense and explosive" on Thursday.

Pashinyan called for the deployment of international observers to the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Under the Russian-brokered truce, nearly 2,000 Russian peacekeepers have been stationed along the Lachin corridor in Azerbaijan, a 60-kilometer-long route that links Khankendi to Armenia.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but has been populated by ethnic Armenians.

Azerbaijani forces gained the upper hand and retrieved large swathes of land in the conflict.

The latest skirmishes came at a delicate time for the prime minister as the country is in the run-up for snap parliamentary polls on June 20, which he announced under pressure from opposition protesters.


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