STEPANAKERT (RFE/RL) — Nagorno-Karabakh’s army threatened “painful” retaliation on Monday, October 23, as it accused Azerbaijani forces of shelling its frontline positions for the first time in two months.
The Defense Army claimed that they fired five mortar shells and one anti-tank rocket in northeastern Karabakh on Sunday. It released video footage purportedly showing two such shells exploding in a field and the Israeli-made Spike rocket flying over a Karabakh military facility and hitting the ground.
In a statement, the Karabakh army warned that it will retaliate in a “disproportionate and quite painful” fashion if the Azerbaijani side continues such “deliberate provocations.”
Another statement issued later in the day said Azerbaijani forces fired another Spike rocket at a different section of the line of contact around Karabakh on Monday afternoon. It said Karabakh Armenian troops again did not shoot back “in order not to deepen tension” on the frontlines.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry dismissed the first Karabakh statement as “slander.” It said that the Armenians themselves resorted to a “provocation” by killing an Azerbaijani soldier on Sunday. The ministry did not specify the frontline section where the soldier, identified as Jabbar Zeynalov, died.