Armenia Accuses Azerbaijan of Border Attacks

Yerevan (RFE/RL)–Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other Tuesday of making cross-border attacks over the weekend.

A deputy spokesman for Armenia’s Defense Ministry Hovaness Charekhchian told RFE/RL Tuesday that Azeri ground forces had crossed into Armenian territory before dawn Monday.

Charekhchian said about 80 Azeri soldiers crossed into the Armenian region of Tavoush from 1:30 to 5 a.m. Monday morning. He said the soldiers retreated after 17 of them were killed. Charekhchian said the bodies of the 17 Azeri soldiers were still lying in Armenian territory Tuesday.

But Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said one soldier was injured when Armenian forces shelled border positions about 400 kilometers west of Baku. Azerbaijan’s Turan news agency reports that Azeri forces returned the fire and suppressed the attack. Neither report could be independently confirmed.

Cross-border exchanges of artillery fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been reported on an almost daily basis during the past two months. A round of peace talks is expected to take place in the United States later this month.

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