The planned monitoring of the OSCE Mission in the Hardut direction of the line of contact between the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan was suspended because of submachine gun shots from the Azerbaijani side in the direction of the positions of the NKR Defense Army.

OSCE field representatives were due to briefly observe the ceasefire regime from both sides of a frontline section southeast of Karabakh. They reportedly cancelled the regular procedure after hearing gunshots.

The Karabakh Armenian army said Azerbaijani troops fired on its frontline positions in the area. The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claimed the opposite, however, saying that the Armenians opened fire moments before the planned monitoring. The OSCE observers issued no statements on the incident.

The OSCE has regularly monitored various sections of the “line of contact” around Karabakh as well as the Armenian-Azerbaijani border ever since a Russian-mediated truce stopped the war for the disputed territory in 1994. These largely symbolic procedures have rarely been disrupted by gunfire.

Meanwhile, an Armenian army captain, Gevorg Mnatsakanian, was killed and three other servicemen were wounded late on Wednesday after hitting a landmine at a western section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontier. The Defense Ministry in Yerevan gave few other details of the incident, saying only that the soldiers were performing a “combat task” in the area.

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