YEREVAN — Five Azerbaijani soldiers were killed early on Tuesday as deadly fighting along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan continued for the second consecutive day.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said they died early in the morning in what it described it as an Armenian commando raid on its frontline positions in the western Gazakh district bordering Armenia’s Tavush province.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry confirmed deadly fighting in the area but denied any cross-border incursions by its forces stationed there. It said they only “neutralized” an Azerbaijani “sabotage group.” “Nobody was killed or wounded on the Armenian side,” added a ministry statement.
The incident occurred not far from a border area where three Armenian soldiers were killed in similar circumstances on Monday morning. Official Yerevan reacted furiously to their deaths, with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian lashing out at Baku during a news conference with the visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Not contenting itself with daily Azerbaijani ceasefire violations on the line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh, they are trying to extend tension to and escalate the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border as well,” Nalbandian charged. “This is jeopardizing the negotiating process and regional stability. Azerbaijan will be responsible for all consequences of that.”