STEPANAKERT (Armenianow) — The military authorities in Stepanakert say that fierce clashes have been taking place overnight and during Saturday morning along the entire perimeter of the line of contact separating the armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan.

According to the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry, on the night of April 1 and early on April 2 the Azerbaijani side initiated clearly offensive actions in the southern, southeastern and northeastern directions of the line of contact, along with other types of weapons, using artillery, armor and air force.

“The Defense Army’s vanguard units are successful fighting off the enemy in all directions, causing it significant losses in manpower and equipment. According to the operative data of the Defense Army, besides other losses inflicted on the Azerbaijani armed forces, the Defense Army’s aircraft defense in the northern section of the frontline area shot down one enemy helicopter attacking Armenian positions,” the Defense Army said in a statement.

The Azerbaijani side also reportedly targeted with artillery fire civilian areas and places of permanent deployment of a number of military units.

“The Defense Army vanguard units, accepting the challenge of the enemy, are engaged in reliable defensive battles,” the Defense Army said.

The Armenian Defense Ministry also released information today, saying that Azerbaijani troops have suffered numerous losses as they have been repulsed due to the actions of the NKR Defense Army units.

It strongly condemned the “unprecedented aggressive and irresponsible” decision of the Azerbaijani authorities to start military operations and officially stated that their continuation may lead to “unpredictable consequences” for the Azerbaijani side.

“The entire responsibility of the unprecedented escalation at the line of contact of the Karabakh-Azerbaijani forces lies with the authorities of Azerbaijan,” the Defense Ministry said.

“The Armenian Defense Ministry invites the attention of the international community and especially the OSCE Minsk Group to the created situation and expects immediate targeted interference for the situation to be kept under control and large-scale military operations to be avoided.”

Artsrun Hovhannisyan, a spokesperson for Armenia’s defense minister, confirmed that both sides have casualties.

“But the adversary has a large-scale loss of personnel and materiel, including a helicopter. Initiative in the military actions is in our hands,” Hovhannisyan wrote on his Facebook account.

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