STEPANAKERT — Authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh on Thursday accused Azerbaijani troops of opening fire on local settlements in breach of a Russian-brokered ceasefire that stopped last year’s Armenian-Azerbaijani war. Karabakh Defense Army said that the ceasefire violations have intensified in recent days.
“While enemy forces previously mainly fired in the air, gunshots fired towards the Defense Army’s combat positions and civilian border settlements have now become more frequent,” it said in a statement.
It said the Azerbaijani army’s “provocative and aggressive actions” are aimed intimidating Karabakh’s Armenian population and undermining Russia’s peacekeeping mission in the disputed region launched right after the war.
“Any attempt to terrorize the people of Artsakh is doomed to fail,” read a separate statement released by the Karabakh foreign ministry.
It said that Azerbaijani troops targeted on Wednesday Stepanakert and two nearby villages located close to the Karabakh city of Shushi which was captured by them during the six-week war.
The gunfire reportedly damaged the roof of a Stepanakert house rented by a Karabakh Armenian man, Khachatur Muncyian, and his family that fled Shushi during the fighting.
“The ceiling was also punctured and a bullet lay next to the hole,” Munchy an told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. He said the house is located just a few kilometers from the nearest Azerbaijani army position.
A spokesman for the Karabakh police said they are investigating the shooting incident and have alerted Russian peacekeepers about it.