STEPANAKERT — Nagorno-Karabakh’s Ministry of Defense reported on Monday that more than a dozen Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and wounded in “punitive” operations carried out over the weekend.

“The Ministry of Defense of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic announces that the Defense Army’s frontline military units resorted to retaliatory actions in response to [Azerbaijan’s] proactive operations, leaving over a dozen killed and wounded in the direction of Akna,” reads the official press release.

In a separate statement, the Karabakh Armenian army said that Azerbaijani forces fired nearly 150 mortar shells and 24 rockets on its frontline positions over the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on Monday that three more Azerbaijani soldiers have been killed in “heavy fighting” with Armenian forces which continued over the weekend. A ministry statement said that they died “at different sections of the frontline.” It did not specify those locations or give other details of the deadly incidents.

Meydan TV, an independent Azerbaijani media outlet, reported that one of the killed soldiers, Neman Ahmadzade, served in Azerbaijan’s western Gadabay district bordering Armenia.

The Azerbaijani army reported another combat casualty within its ranks on Saturday, the day after 4 Armenian soldiers were killed and 16 others wounded near “the line of contact” east of Karabakh in a reported Azerbaijani artillery strike.

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