STEPANAKERT — Artsakh Defense forces have reported heavy fighting with Azerbaijani troops attempting to advance in the direction of strategic town Shushi overlooking NKR capital Stepanakert.

In a report disseminated on Wednesday morning the Defense Army announced that Azerbaijani commandos attempted a raid overnight towards the town sitting on a mountaintop some 10 kilometers to the south of Stepanakert, but were stopped in their tracks after meeting resistance from army units and volunteers defending the approaches to the town.

“The advancing group suffered heavy losses and was thrown back,” the report said.

“Defense Army units are undertaking search operations along the probable penetration routes of Azerbaijani subversive groups. For this reason, some sections of the Shushi-Berdzor road are temporarily closed for civilians only,” the Defense Army said.

“Actions on the encirclement and destruction of the group continue at this moment,” it added.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Defense Army also claimed in its report that Azerbaijani forces continued to shell civilian areas. It said there were wounded people among civilians as a result of the shelling.

On November 3, Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement deploring Azerbaijan’s continued bombing of the civilian infrastructure in Stepanakert and Shushi with the use of cluster munitions.

It said that the Stepanakert Mother and Child Healthcare Center was targeted, in particular.

“The continuous targeting of Stepanakert’s medical facilities by the Azerbaijani armed forces once again demonstrates the goal of Azerbaijan’s military-political leadership to inflict maximum damage on the civilian population of Artsakh [the Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh], especially women and children far away from the frontline,” the ministry said.

“This is another manifestation of state terrorism carried out by a country which through the efforts of Turkey has already turned itself into a hub of concentration of international terrorist fighters in the South Caucasus. We emphasize that amid the existential threats the people of Artsakh are facing, the authorities and the Defense Army of Artsakh have the inalienable right to defend their own people and to counterattack the enemy,” it added.

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