Karabakh Rejects Azeri Rumors on Ceasefire Violation

STEPANAKERT (Combined Sources)—Military authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh have denied violating a ceasefire following a casualties report issued by Azerbaijan on Thursday. A spokesman said Stepanakert remains committed to the agreed regime along the line of contact with Azeri armed forces, reported RFE/RL.

The radio service’s Azeri Service quoted the country’s Defense Ministry as confirming that three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and another soldier was wounded “after exchanging fire with Armenian armed forces near the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.” The Azeri ministry did not specify where the fighting took place, but a spokesman said the Armenian side also suffered casualties.

Talking to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service later on Friday, a Nagorno-Karabakh military spokesman advised “searching for the causes of the Azerbaijani soldiers’ deaths in the [low] morale of the Azerbaijani armed forces.” He did not comment on casualties alleged on the Armenian side.

“The information spread by Azerbaijan once again does not correspond to the reality,” said Senor Hasratian, a press secretary for Nagorno-Karabakh’s defense army.

Hasratian said the names of the soldiers published through the Azerbaijani media suggested him that they were not ethnic Azerbaijanis, which he claimed showed Baku’s “policies toward ethnic minorities.”

Meanwhile, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian visited several military units of the Karabakh Defense Army located in the central and south-east direction of the frontline.

The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the republic listened to the reports of commanders motorized infantry subdivision at combat duty, got acquainted with the activities aimed at consolidating defense systems and awarded the best soldiers with mementos.

Sahakian also observed military exercises of tank and motorized infantry units, visited an infantry leadership and inspected on site construction activities carried out there.

On the same day, Sahakian visited regional centre of Martuni and held a working visit with regional authorities and heads of local communities.

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