STEPANAKERT (azatutyun.am) — Fighting continued in Nagorno-Karabakh on Saturday, March 26, with military authorities in Stepanakert accusing Azerbaijani forces of trying to push deeper into Karabakh’s eastern Askeran district.
The Karabakh Armenian army said that its troops are “taking appropriate measures to stop the enemy’s advance.” It said it is also working with the Russian peacekeeping contingent stationed in the Armenian-populated territory to try to stop the hostilities.
The Karabakh state minister, Artak Beglaryan, spoke later in the afternoon of an “unsuccessful” Azerbaijani attack on one of the Karabakh Armenian positions in the area.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry claimed, meanwhile, that Armenian forces tried to launch a sabotage attack on one of its frontline positions but were pushed back. Karabakh’s Defense Army was quick to dismiss the claim as a “complete lie” designed to cover up the Azerbaijani truce violations.
Tensions along the Karabakh “line of contact” rose dramatically on Thursday after Azerbaijani forces reportedly captured a village in Askeran and tried to advance to strategic hills to the west of it. Three Karabakh Armenian soldiers were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded in the area on Friday.
The US State Department expressed serious concern over the Azerbaijani troop movements, calling them “irresponsible and unnecessarily provocative.” The French Foreign Ministry similarly urged Baku to withdraw its troops to the positions occupied by them before Thursday.