STEPANAKERT — Nagorno-Karabakh’s army said on Tuesday that its forces repelled fresh incursions launched by Azerbaijani troops overnight at eight different sections of “the line of contact” around the territory.
According to a statement released by the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry, Azerbaijani armed forces launched “sabotage-reconnaissance” raids along the Line of Contact on the night of January 20, which, however, were timely spotted and rebuffed by the Karabakh military.
“Suffering casualties, the enemy was thrown back,” the report said. Suren Pilosyan, a 19-year-old serviceman, was fatally wounded while defending one of the military posts, it added.
The latest fighting was reported the day after Andrzej Kasprzyk, the chief OSCE official monitoring the truce in the Karabakh conflict zone, visited Stepanakert and met with Karabakh Armenia leaders. Bako Sahakian, the Karabakh president, was cited by his office as telling Kasprzyk that Azerbaijan is continuing to undermine international mediators’ effort to broker an Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement. Sahakian urged the international community to take “concrete steps” against Baku.
“They are firing from other weapons such as grenade launchers which they didn’t dare to use before,” Sahakian’s spokesman, Davit Babayan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) on Tuesday.
“The international community should take tougher steps,” he said. “There are already signs of that happening.”
The military authorities in Stepanakert and Yerevan say that Azerbaijani incursions have increased dramatically since the beginning of this month. Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian last week ordered the Armenian military to launch “preventive” offensive operations in response to such attacks.