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Two Armenian soldiers killed in border clashes with Azerbaijan: Yerevan

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)
This is a file photo of an Azeri soldier in an area along the border with Armenia.

Armenia says two of its soldiers have been killed in separate exchanges of fire with Azerbaijani troops in the disputed border region between the two Caucasus countries.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said in a statement Monday that Azerbaijani forces had opened fire on their positions from Nakhichevan, killing one of their soldiers.

The soldier, who was wounded in the stomach, lost his life on the way to hospital, the statement said. 

It said that Azeri troops “attempted another provocation” on Monday evening, opening fire and killing another soldier.

Though the statement claimed Azerbaijani forces had also suffered losses, the Azeri Defense Ministry denied any casualties among its troops.

The ministry said the clashes were started by the Armenian side in the Sadarak district in Nakhchivan on Monday morning.

The shootout is the latest in a series of border clashes that have occurred since the conflict last year over Nagorno-Karabakh, which left an estimated 6,000 people dead on both sides.

The decades-long tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up last September. After six-weeks of fierce fighting, a Russian-brokered ceasefire ended the conflict in November, and left Azerbaijan largely in control of the territory.

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

Since the truce, the two sides have accused each other of breaching the peace deal.

Aliyev urges Armenia to provide accurate landmine maps

Meanwhile, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev called on Yerevan to provide an accurate map to show mines planted in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region.

He said since the end of the war, more than 150 civilians and soldiers were killed or injured by landmines, planted by Armenians in the Azeri territories.

“Armenians planted hundreds of thousands of mines there,” he told the CNN Turk TV channel on Saturday.

“Armenia won’t give us maps of minefields, and the accuracy of the maps provided at the latest stage is only 25 percent,” Aliyev said. “So here, too, they are acting insincerely.”

He said de-mining works are currently underway in the territories, but the lack of maps complicates the process.

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